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Senators vs. Rangers Game 7 NHL Playoff Free Picks | Preview

Ottawa Senators vs NY Rangers Pick

The New York Rangers were anticipating a tough first round series versus the Ottawa Senators but there is no way that they could have envisioned having to win Games 6 and 7 just to move on. That is the case as the top Eastern seed hosts the pesky #8 seed in the deciding Game 7 on Thursday night.

#1 Seed in the East Rangers Hopes to Avoid Upset at the Hands of #8 Ottawa

Ottawa Senators at NY Rangers
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 26, 2012
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York
Broadcast: CBC,RDS,NBCSN,CSN-DC,NESN (HD)
Series tied 3-3
Sens vs. Rangers Betting Lines from betonline.com
Spread: Rangers -1 ½ (+175)
Moneyline: Senators +150: Rangers -165
Over/Under: 5 goals

Matchup | Preview 

The Ottawa Senators, it could be argued, deserve a better fate than the one that faces them – Game 7 on the road in one of the most iconic buildings in the world. But an average effort in Game 6 is the reason that they are here. Jason Spezza was benched, team Captain Daniel Alfredsson snapped and even the coach was critical of their effort.

Chances are that Ottawa will be better on Thursday night. They have brought the intensity all series long – there is no reason to think that they won’t rekindle the hate and the emotion for Game 7.

Offense hasn’t exactly been Ottawa’s strong suit in the series so far but key players are conspicuously absent at the moment. Eric Karlsson is inexplicably pointless in his last four games and Milan Michalek hasn’t been nearly the player that he was during the regular season. But it is up to the veteran on the team to get it going. Daniel Alfredsson showed plenty of emotion in Game 6 but they will need his to show up on the score sheet. Jason Spezza has three points in two games but has been prone to lapses that could cost his team in game 7.

Make no mistake about it – Craig Anderson has been the story of the series so far! He has been sensational and owns a 1.70 goals against average in the series and a save percentage hovering around .950 – amazing!

The New York Rangers are in a tough spot. Why? One could point to the poor play of Marion Gaborik in the series so far – no goals since Game 1! Although there is not a whole lot to love about the Rangers offensively they can take solace in the fact that the previously pointless Derek Stepan woke up and registered one goal and two assists in Game 6 and Brad Richards chipped in with a goal and two assists. However with the good, there is some bad. [ad-4437448]

The Rangers haven’t scored an even strength goal in over three games and in a Game 7 that will likely be short on power play chances (hopefully the referees let them play), New York will need some better five-on-five play.

No worries about Henrik Lundqvist – he has been stellar as per usual. However an interesting stat – Lundqvist is 2-5 in elimination games and has never won back-to-back elimination contests.

Betting Prediction: Ottawa is 23-7 in the last 30 meetings in New York and the road team is 21-7 in the last 28 meetings.

The road team has won four of the last six Game 7s in the playoffs. The Rangers have won the last three Game 7s at MSG but are just 3-5 all-time in deciding games while the Senators are -0-4 in Game 7s.

The New York Rangers will likely be forced to play without Brian Boyle once again on Thursday and that could be a factor. Ottawa has been the better team in the series and deserve to go through – don’t you think? Karma catches up to the Rangers and the Senators send the remaining #1 seed home Thursday.

Pick: The Underdog Senators +150

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