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Rangers-Bruins Series Preview

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The Rangers and Bruins both won Game 7′s in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  New York, in less dramatic fashion, dominated Washington 5-0 to win the only road game of the series.  Boston, down 4-1 to Toronto, rallied back with three goals in less than 11 minutes, two of which came in the final minutes with a pulled goalie, and won in overtime 5-4.  Now the Rangers and Bruins, these two Original 6 teams in two huge markets, are set-up for a Round 2 clash that could be one for the ages.  New York and Boston yet again in sports.  Here is a series preview.

Key for the Rangers:  front line scoring.  Rick Nash, Brad Richards, Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan scored just four goals against Washington.  The Rangers need more to get past big, bad Boston.

Key for the Bruins:  second line scoring.  Unlike the Rangers, Boston has gotten tons of front line scoring from Nathan Horton, David Krejci and Milan Lucic.  But no one else has shown up.  One of the keys to Stanley Cup playoff success is scoring depth.  Guys like Tyler Seguin, Jaromir Jagr and Brad Marchand must step-up.  Defenseman pinching-in and shooting more would help too.  Patrice Bergeron seems to be turning a corner after his OT winner and great shifts in Games 6 and 7 against Toronto.

Prediction:  Rangers in 6.  The Rangers should advance here.  From a match-up standpoint, New York can play physical and block shots, just like the Bruins, and the Blueshirts are comparable offensively.  So what is left?  Goaltending.  New York has the edge with King Henrik Lundqvist over Tuukka Rask.  Madison Square Garden should host games in the Eastern Conference Finals for the second straight season.

By:  Mike Lindsley, “Mid-Day with Mike,” 1-4, Yankees pre/post game host on 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio.  Follow him on Twitter @MikeLSports.  

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