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Which team's top scorers will show up?
The Boston Bruins and New York Rangers were fortunate to win their seven-game first-round series without some of their best scorers producing offensively.
For the Rangers, Rick Nash needs to play better. He was acquired last summer to score the big playoff goals that the team didn't get last season when it lost in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Nash failed to find the back of the net and added only two assists during the first round against the Washington Capitals, and now he will play against the league's best shutdown defenseman in Bruins captain Zdeno Chara for the majority of his shifts. The star winger has scored only one goal in 11 career playoff games, and if this trend continues, it will be an easy advancement for the Bruins.
Veteran center Brad Richards also needs to make an impact offensively to generate enough scoring chances against a quality defensive team with an outstanding goalie in Tuukka Rask.
Richards scored one goal with zero assists against the Capitals, and as a highly-paid player and a former Conn Smythe winner, that kind of performance isn't good enough. If he doesn't improve, expect him to see most of his ice time on the fourth line.
Boston needs its top two goal-scorers, Brad Marchand and Tyler Seguin, to be more involved in the offense. These two stars combined for 34 goals in the regular season, but they were unable to score once in the first round against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is 21-7-2 with a 1.67 GAA and a .943 save percentage in his career versus the Bruins, and since both teams play a physical game with lots of shot-blocking, scoring chances are not going to come easy.
Since the Bruins are getting very little offense from their bottom two lines, top-six forwards such as Marchand and Seguin have to score and be aggressive in the attacking zone.
Boston will not beat New York if it has to rely on the team's top line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton for a second consecutive series.