The New York Rangers find themselves in a familiar position, for the third time they are up 1-0 in a series going into game two at Madison Square Garden, but after dropping game two in each of their previous series, the blue shirts will undoubtedly hope for a different outcome tonight.
The Rangers host the New Jersey Devils Wednesday at 8 p.m. after dropping their cross-river rival 3-0 in game one on Monday.
Though game one was sluggish and defensive for the first two periods, the Rangers finally broke through with three goals over the final 20 minutes. Game two will undoubtedly look similar.
The Rangers, with 187 goals allowed, and the Devils with 209 were two of the three best defensive teams all season and fans should expect games with limited chances and numerous blocked shots each time these teams meet.
In each of their previous game twos, the Rangers were stifled by an individual opponent who would not be denied. In the first round, Chris Neil led a physical onslaught from the Senators that ended in an overtime goal from Neil.
In the second round, Alexander Ovechkin established himself with an outstanding performance including a powerplay goal in the third period that turned out to be the game winner.
The Devils have a few players capable of single handedly changing the course of the series, like Zach Parise, Travis Zajac or Ilya Kovalchuk who led the team with 89 points. At least one of them will have to step up in order to get the Devils back to the Prudential Center with a split.
Where to watch: The game can be viewed online at www.firstrowsports.eu/sport/ice-hockey.html. It will also be broadcast nationally on the NBC Sports Network at 8 p.m. ET.
Prediction: The Devils will battle hard but succumb when the Rangers defense and goaltending is too strong to overcome.
Predicted Score: New York over New Jersey 3-1 with an empty net goal.