Rangers, Penguins play Game 7 for journey to second round

The New York Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins will play Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final Round at Madison Square Garden in New York on Sunday.

The winner will advance to the second round and face the Carolina Hurricanes or Boston Bruins, who will play Game 7 of their first-round series in Carolina on Saturday (4:30 PM ET; ESPN, SN360, SNE, SNW, SNP, TVAS , BSSO, NESN).

New York defeated Pittsburgh 5-3 in Game 6 on Friday to force a deciding game after trailing 3-1 in the series.

“It’s exciting,” said New York coach Gerard Gallant. “Three days ago we were down 3-1 and now we have a chance to go back home and win Game 7. But you know, the first two were fights and we had to win hard, and nothing is going to change the next I mean home ice is great It’s going to be a great game.

“It’s a Game 7, the winner moves on and the loser goes home. I think it’s going to be a great game.”

The Rangers are 9-6 all-time in Game 7s, including 7-1 at home. However, they lost their last Game 7 at home, 2-0 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2015 Eastern Conference Final.

[RELATED: Complete Rangers vs. Penguins series coverage]

forward Chris Kreider has played in six Game 7s, all with the Rangers (5-1), receiving one assist. defender Justin Braun has also played in six in his NHL career (3-3) and forward Ryan Reaves (2-1) has played in three.

Rangers goalkeepers Igor Shesterkin and Alexander Georgievi have never played in a Game 7 and coach Gerard Gallant is 0-1.

The Penguins are 10-7 all-time in Game 7s, including 6-0 on the road. They have won three consecutive Game 7s since their last second-round loss in 2014, when they lost 2-1 at home to the Rangers.

Forward Sydney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin have played in seven Game 7s each for the Penguins (5-2), and defender Kris Letang has played in six (3-3). Crosby has five points (two goals, three assists), Malkin has six assists and Letang has one goal and one assist in those games. forward Jeff Carter has played in five Game 7s with the Los Angeles Kings and Philadelphia Flyers (5-0) collecting four points (two goals, two assists).

Penguins keepers Tristan Jarry and Louis Domingue have never played in a Game 7 and coach Mike Sullivan is 3-1.

With three Game 7s already scheduled for Saturday (Hurricanes-Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs-Tampa Bay Lightning and Edmonton Oilers-Los Angeles Kings), there will be at least four Game 7s in the first round for the first time since 2011. record is six, which happens in 1992.

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