NHL Playoffs 2012: Rangers-Capitals Game 7: Preview and Predictions
The Washington Capitals and the New York Rangers will face off tonight in a gripping Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals. The winner of tonight's game will advance to the Eastern Conference Finals to face the New Jersey Devils.
Key Washington Players
Chimera has been a key factor to the Capitals' success in this series, especially last game, where he scored the second goal and assisted the first. His second year in Washington has been his breakout season on the team. If Chimera can play aggressive offensively, King Lundqvist had better watch out.
Washington has always struggled to find a good goalie. Michal Neuvirth, Semyon Varlamov and Jose Theodore all had their respective problems. Then came along some Holtby, a young Canadian goalie from the Hershey Bears. While he had made his NHL debut in late 2010, he was re-assigned to AHL duty until the last game of this year's regular season.
Then the playoffs came.
Holtby has been the reason the Capitals are still in the playoffs. He has made acrobatic saves to keep the puck from sliding into the net.
Key New York Players
The New York postseason leader in points and goals, Richards has been phenomenal. He has a great eye for openings and space. The Rangers assistant captain thrives in big games with large stakes. If there is a time for this player to shine, it is now.
While he may not be the star of the team or the standout playoff star, Stephan plays a crucial role in the New York offense. The postseason leader in assists has played well in the past few games, but we have yet to see him reach his potential. He and Richards make a deadly combination as the pass-to-goal partnership.
New York 3-2 Washington
My prediction is that New York will advance to play the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals. Washington will score first yet New York will equalize in the first period. The Rangers will score in the second, leading Washington going into the third. Washington will score on a power play in the third to push the game into overtime. New York will then go on to score at the end of the first overtime period.
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