Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinals takes place tonight between the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers. The game is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have the Rangers as a mediocre favorite to win.
The Rangers are in a bad position heading into tonight's game. New York almost assuredly has to win the next two games at home or the series is going to be over. Boston played very well in the opening two games of this series and holds a 2-0 lead in the series. But like many hockey experts say, a series doesn't officially start until the home team loses a game. If the Rangers are able to hang on and even the series at 2-2, the final three games of the series will be that much better.
This is the second straight series the Rangers have started in an 0-2 after dropping both of the opening games on the road. Yet, in the first six games of the Rangers' series wit the Capitals, each home team won up until New York got the clinching victory on the road in Game 7. However, New York is 2-19 in series it trailed 0-2, and no NHL team has won consecutive series after losing the first two games. In home games this season the Rangers were a pretty solid 16-6-2.
Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist is playing very well this post season but is 4-5 overall. He's got a save percentage of better than 93 percent and sports an impressive 2.10 goals against average. But in Game 2 he was beat up. Lundqvist gave up 12 total goals in the first five games of the first-round series versus the Capitals before shutting them out in Games 6 and 7. Boston has already registered eight goals against him.
Rick Nash finally scored a playoff goal in a losing effort for the Rangers in Game 2. He has to get going offensively if the Rangers are going to have a chance in the next few games. Derick Brassard is also looking to cash in on all those shots on goal he's been registering.
David Krejci leads the Bruins in scoring so far this post season with five goals and an impressive 11 assists so far. Tuukka Rask has won six games in net for the Bruins so far this playoffs and his goals against average of 2.32 has led him to save nearly 93 percent of the shots he's faced.
Tonight we like the Rangers to get it done at home. They have their backs against the wall and playing at Madison Square Garden, we expect them to come out on fire and get an early goal or two.
Free Pick: New York 3, Boston 1
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