Game 7 not good for Rangers

Squandering the opportunity to close out the series in six games and punch their ticket to the Eastern Conference finals, the Rangers made it very tough on themselves with Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to Washington.

The underwhelming effort level and inability to finish off the seventh-seeded Capitals in Game 6 may come back to haunt the Rangers should they advance.

According to ESPN Research, no team since 1987 (when the playoffs switched to a seven-game format) has won the Stanley Cup after being extended to seven games in each of the first two rounds.

It took the Rangers seven games to dispatch the eight-seeded Ottawa Senators in the quarterfinals; Washington also needed all seven to dispose of defending the Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

For a more detailed look at former Cup-winning teams' route to the playoffs, scope ESPN.com's Cross Checks blog here.