February 12, 2013; Boston, MA USA; Boston Bruins center Patrice Bergeron (37) tries to screen New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) while Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) defends during the second period at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Eastern Conference Semifinals: New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins Preview

The No. 6 seed New York Rangers will face off against the No. 4 seed Boston Bruins, in the Eastern Conference semifinals, on Thursday night in Boston—the Rangers and the Bruins advanced to the second round in astonishing fashion; New York overcame a 2-0, and a 3-2 deficit to beat the Capitals in Game 7; the Bruins had one of the greatest comebacks, erasing a two-goal deficit in the final 90 seconds and beating Toronto in Game 7.

Both teams are so similar that it will be tough to predict which team will come out on top. Both the Rangers and the Bruins depend on defense and goaltending; The Rangers excel at blocking shots while the Bruins use their size and strength to wear out defenses.

The Rangers vs. Bruins complete schedule looks like this:

Date Time Location
Thursday, May 16 7:30 PM New York at Boston
Sunday, May 19 3:00 PM New York at Boston
Tuesday, May 21 7:30 PM Boston at New York
Thursday, May 23 7:00 PM Boston at New York
*Saturday, May 25 TBD New York at Boston
*Monday, May 27 TBD Boston at New York
*Wednesday, May 29 TBD New York at Boston

*If necessary

Players to watch
Henrik Lundqvist – The best goalie in the NHL—especially after last round’s performance. He shut down the Capitals with back-to-back shutouts in Game 6 and Game 7. It will be tough for the Bruins to score on this guy.

Rick Nash – Where in the world has Nash gone? The Rangers’ best offensive threat has been quiet, thus far, this post season. He’s due for a breakout.

Ryan Callahan – Callahan is an invaluable player who will do everything on the ice from providing big hits, to scoring key goals.

Zdeno Chara – The Bruins depend on Chara to dominate the blue line. He is a big guy at 6’9″, 255 pounds, that can punish you with hits, and his thunderous shots.

Patrice Bergeron – A great defensive player and faceoff man (winning 62 percent of his draws) that will cause problems for the Rangers because he is just so good on both ends of the ice.

The Bruins have greater depth in their offensive structure compared to the Rangers. The Blueshirts have an excellent top 6, but afterwards, there’s a considerable drop in depth.

Both the Rangers and the Bruins have great shut down style of hockey. The Rangers will do anything possible to keep the puck out of their own zone, but the Bruins have much better puck-movement. Boston has a slight advantage on the powerplay, while New York has an advantage on the penalty kill.

It’s tough to predict who will come out on top, but it will be an entertaining matchup. This is going to be a hard-fought, low scoring series.

Who will win this series?

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Tags: Hockey New York Rangers NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

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