We end the first round with two series going the distance. Results from both games tonight can landscape the matchups we will see in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.
Last night concluded the Western Conference Quarter-Finals as the Chicago Blackhawks and Anaheim Ducks respectively wrapped up their series to advance to round two.
Chris' record after Day 13: 24-15
NY Rangers (7) @ Washington (2)—Series tied 3-3
John Tortorella says that the Capitals hold all the pressure since they are tied with the seventh seed. However, the pressure will be on the Rangers as they are in danger of losing a series in which they led three games to one.
After three outstanding performances through Game Four goaltender Henrik Lundqvist has proven to be vulnerable, giving up nine goals in his last two outings. For the Rangers to have a chance to win tonight, Lundqvist needs to return to his form earlier in the series. Help from his teammates wouldn't be too bad, either.
At the other end of the ice Simeon Varlamov has been seldom tested and will need to make sure he's on the top of his game. The offensive guns have finally arrived in this series, and that's not including superstar Alex Ovechkin.
Though he has seven points he has yet to take over any of the games. There's no doubt in my mind that Ovechkin will pull through in Game Seven and help the Caps complete the comeback.
Game Seven Winner: Washington
Carolina (6) @ New Jersey (3)—Series tied 3-3
Who says that all playoff series need bad blood to be appealing?
This has got to be one of the closest contested series in Stanley Cup Playoff history. The Devils and Hurricanes have gone toe-to-toe for six games and will leave it all on the line for Game Seven tonight in Newark.
Goaltending has been the story in this tilt as Martin Brodeur and Cam Ward have had stellar performances in helping their respective teams in tasting the second round. In the previous series between the two teams Ward outplayed his childhood idol Brodeur in a five-game victory.
No team has been able to win more than one game at a time. Does this favour the Devils, or can the Hurricanes pull off a road win to move onto round two?
To be honest, I could care less who wins because I know as a fan of the game I can appreciate that this has the potential to be the best game of the playoff.
There's no shortage of big-game players on both ends of the ice. We should be in for a real treat tonight folks.
Game Seven Winner: New Jersey