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Senators-Rangers Game 7 Line at -160
Carrie Stroup here with your Senators-Rangers Game 7 line. NHL Playoffs betting odds can be found at Sportsbook.com where you can receive up to $250 in FREE CASH upon opening an online account (restrictions do apply).
Sportsbook.com Line & Total: New York -160 & 5 under -135
The New York Rangers look to avoid becoming the second No. 1 seed to exit this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs in the first round when they host the Ottawa Senators in a decisive Game 7 on Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.
Since the NHL switched to the current playoff format in 1994, 10 top-seeded teams have lost in the first round, including Vancouver this year, which fell to Los Angeles in five games. If the Rangers lose on Thursday though, it will mark the first time in NHL history that both one-seeds lose in the first round in the same season. This series is difficult to gauge because, in almost every game, it seems as if the better team lost. Amazingly, the team with the higher number of shots on goal in each game has lost all but once in this series (Senators won Game 2, 3-2 in overtime). Each squad has shut out the other on the road (Rangers won 1-0 in Game 3, Senators won 2-0 in Game 5) and with just 24 combined goals through six games, this is the lowest scoring series in the Eastern Conference. History is not on Ottawa’s side—the Senators are 0-4 all-time in Game 7’s—but the Senators have not faced this situation since 2004. The Rangers have played in just one Game 7 since 1994 (a 2-1 loss to the Capitals in 2009), but are 3-0 all-time in Game 7’s at The Garden.
Senators C Jason Spezza led the team in points in the regular season with 34 goals and 50 assists, and the 28-year-old pivot is doing an excellent job shouldering the load in the postseason with a team-high five points (3 G, 2 A). Ottawa could certainly use more production from its second best scorer though—21-year-old puck-moving defenseman Erik Karlsson (19 G, 59 A). The Swedish blueliner led all NHL defensemen in points by an incredibly wide margin (25), but the Rangers have done an excellent job of keeping Karlsson in check this series, limiting him to just one goal in six games.
Despite taking a 3-2 series lead into Game 6, the Sens were unable to close it out on home ice on Monday, falling 3-2. Captain Daniel Alfredsson returned to the lineup after missing Games 3, 4 and 5 with a concussion, but Ottawa lacked discipline and the Rangers capitalized on those mistakes to force the series back to New York.
Rangers top-line C Brad Richards leads the team in points in this series (2 G, 3 A) after signing with the Blueshirts over the summer as the top free agent in the league. General Manager Glen Sather brought him in specifically to bolster the Rangers’ offensive depth for the postseason, and the 31-year-old veteran is playing exceptionally well. Interestingly, Richards won a Cup in 2004 as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning—coached by current New York bench boss John Tortorella.
The fate of the Rangers ultimately falls on the shoulders of Vezina Trophy-finalist Henrik Lundqvist. The Swedish netminder has posted an impressive .942 SV Pct. in six games, and is the unquestioned most valuable player for the Blueshirts. If the Rangers expect to win this game, they will need a terrific game from their go-to guy between the pipes.
- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter
Submitted by Carrie Stroup on Thu, 04/26/2012 - 11:27