Sports history can be made on Thursday. It’s not very often that #1 seeds lose to 8 seeds in sports. It’s happened three times in the NBA, but its more common in the NHL, as its occurred three times since the 2004-2005 season. However, if the New York Rangers lose to the Ottawa Senators, it will mark the first time that both #1 seeds have fallen in the first round in the same playoffs(the Kings beat the Canucks in 5 games.) Will the Senators pull off the upset? Let’s take a closer look.
How the Senators can win: Just like their lower seeded counter parts, the Capitals, the Senators had a chance to close out the series on home ice in Game 6, but were unable to. They weren’t very close either. The Rangers held a comfortable 3-1 lead in the second, and cruised fairly comfortably to the 3-2 win. It’s pretty simple for the Senators. They have to get shots on goal against Henrik Lundqvist, and create scoring opportunities. If Lundqvist can get in a zone, he could be unstoppable. Jason Spezza has notched three goals in the series, and he will look to get another. Craig Anderson will also have to come up big on the road.
How the Rangers can win: I’ve already mentioned the most important part for the Rangers: Mr. Lundqvist. He has recorded one shutout, and only allowed more then two goals once. If he’s on, the Rangers win. If he’s not, they lose. It’s that simple. Outside of their netminder, they will look for Marian Gaborik, who led the team in points(76) and goals(41), to snap out of his funk in this series. Gaborik has only scored 1 goal, and will need a solid game to get his team to the next round.
Our Prediction: Its hard to imagine Henrik Lundqvist not having a huge Game 7 at home. The Rangers have been riding his back all year, and I think they will ride him to victory in this round. I might even go so bold as to call a shutout for the top seeded Rangers. I like them to win 2-0 at home.