NHL Playoffs 2012 : Who Wins Each Game 7
While the Western Conference was settled rather quickly in this year's opening round, the Eastern Conference is a different story entirely.
There were no sweeps and no five-game decisions in the East this year. All four of the first-round matchups have gone at least six games, with three Game 7s headlining tonight and tomorrow.
The eighth-seeded Senators are matched up against the Eastern Conference leaders in the New York Rangers tomorrow at 7:00 ET. This will be quickly supplemented by a surprising Game 7 matchup between the Florida Panthers and New Jersey Devils at 8:30 ET.
So who has the best shot to win each game and get one step closer to Stanley Cup glory?
Washington at Boston: Washington Advances
Although the Capitals lost a decisive Game 6 to the Bruins just three days ago, their performance in that game cannot be forgotten.
Washington showed more resilience than this hockey club has in quite some time, coming back from 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 deficits to force overtime on the beleaguered Boston Bruins.
Alex Ovechkin stepped up and allowed Washington the chance to win it in sudden death when he buried a scorcher underneath Tim Thomas with under five minutes remaining.
Even though the Capitals would end up losing off a misdirected pass in OT, they still showed the persistence and drive that is necessary to dispatch a team with as much experience as this Boston Bruins squad.
Yes, the Bruins have won three straight Game 7s dating back to last season. Yes, the Capitals have been absolutely horrid in Game 7s over the past few seasons.
However, the Capitals will be able to take this one away from Boston even on their home ice.
New Jersey at Florida: New Jersey Advances
Travis Zajac put what could be the dagger in the heart of the Florida Panthers Tuesday night with his overtime winner.
Although there is one more game left to play in this series, it really appears that the end result could be as most expected: the Devils advance.
The Devils are going to have to face a hungry Florida squad, there's no question about that, but even with home ice it won't be enough to stop the Devils here.
Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk and Zach Parise will finally oust the Panthers on Thursday and move on to the second round.
Ottawa at New York: New York Advances
Henrik Lundqvist will prove to be the difference maker in this decisive Game 7.
The Senators are showing some great team play, with Jason Spezza and Sergei Gonchar leading Ottawa this far into the playoffs with one of the East's toughest teams.
However, in Game 7, look for New York to get on the board early and for Lundqvist to shut the door on anything and everything flying at him.
So far this series he has a .942 save percentage and a 1.82 GAA. If anyone can come up clutch in Game 7, it will be King Henrik.
The Rangers advance in a snoozer, most likely 1-0 or 2-1.