On Thursday, a New York/Boston postseason rivalry will be renewed, but it’s not the Yankees/Red Sox, which usually comes to mind. Instead, the Rangers and Bruins will begin a best of seven second round series at TD Bank Garden.
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The Rangers were a stellar defensive team during the regular season, giving up an average of just 2.3 goals per game, but the Bruins equally matched them, with both teams ranking among the top five squads in the NHL.
New York Rangers (+110)
The Rangers entered the postseason as a sixth seed after a disappointing regular season, but they pushed the Washington Capitals to seven games in the first round before winning the series 4-3, while advancing to the second round of the playoffs.
New York’s success or lack thereof is on the shoulders of its goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who posted back to back shutouts in Games 6 and 7, while carrying the Rangers on his back. Without question, Lundqvist is New York’s MVP after one round of the postseason,
Boston Bruins (-130)
The Bruins needed every bit of seven games and then some to best the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round, winning Game 7 in dramatic fashion in overtime by a score of 5-4, which is comeback that will long be remembered.
After winning the Stanley Cup just two years ago, Boston is in familiar territory as it purses another championship this season.
Head To Head
The Rangers took two of three regular season meeting against the Bruins.
Back in the 70’s these two adversaries met in the playoffs three out of four years, with Bruins winning in 1970 and 1972. However, the Rangers delivered some payback one year later, which also ended Boston’s run as champions.
This series will come with all the storylines and I am placing my NHL picks on this series going to seven games, but in the end I see the Rangers ousting the Bruins to advance on to the next round of the playoffs and possiblly to the Stanley Cup finals.
NHL Free Series Pick:New York +110 to win in seven games.