The New York Rangers are very familiar with being in this position. The club trailed the Washington Capitals 2-0 in their first-round playoff series. In the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals, they find themselves in the same spot against the Boston Bruins.
After losing the first two games of the series, the Rangers return home, as they look to avoid falling into a 3-0 hole. The two clubs will face off at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night in Game Three. NBC Sports Network will have the action at 7:30 p.m. ET, but fans can watch a free live stream online with NBC Sports Live Extra.
New York is looking to defend their home ice, which they have not lost on in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. However, the biggest difference in Games One and Two may not, simply, be the location of the contests. For the first time, Boston is having success against Henrik Lundqvist. Before the series, the goalie had not allowed more than three scores in 31 games against the Bruins. In Game One, he allowed three goals, followed up by a five-goal performance by Boston on Sunday.
To add injury to insult, Lundqvist hurt his shoulder in the third period of the Rangers most recent loss. He’s admitted to being sore, but will be ready to go at MSG.
Boston’s offensive outburst was the result of a total team effort. Five different Bruins players put in goals, and eight ended the night with at least one assist.
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If Boston continues to have success against Lundqvist, New York will need Rick Nash to step up and build off his Game-Two goal. Nash scored for the first time in nine playoff games, after leading the club with 21 in the regular season.
The Bruins are well aware that a comfortable series lead can vanish in an instant. They came minutes away from blowing a 3-1 series lead in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Rangers are slight favorites in Game Three. Most Las Vegas casinos have New York’s betting odds at -140. Boston comes in at +120.
Prediction: New York 3, Boston 2