Rangers Look For Playoffs vs Bruins

In pursuit of one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference, the surging New York Rangers are showing they could be a dangerous team in the postseason.

New York tries to sweep the Boston Bruins for the second straight season Saturday when the teams meet at TD Banknorth Garden.

The Rangers (37-28-9) have won seven straight over the Bruins, the longest winning streak ever by New York over Boston (34-34-5).

Oddsmakers have made New York -135 money line (NHL Odds) favorites for todays game, the over/under has been set at 5.5 total goals (View NHL Sports Books). Our public betting information shows that 80% of bets for this game have been placed on New York -135 (View NHL Bet Percentages).

Prior to last season, the only other time the Rangers swept a season series from their Original Six rival came in 1989-90, when they won all three meetings.

The Rangers took three of the four matchups last season by one goal, but the games haven't been nearly as close this season. New York has outscored the Bruins 16-2 and recorded its most lopsided win in the series since an 8-1 victory on Jan. 24, 1970, with a 7-0 win last Saturday.

That victory started an impressive three-game run for the Rangers in which they are outscoring opponents 14-1. New York, which has not won four straight since Dec. 30-Jan. 6, is 8-1-3 since Feb. 27 to move closer to a playoff berth.

The Rangers are in seventh place in the East with 83 points, but are hardly assured of making the playoffs. They trail sixth-place Tampa Bay by three points, while Carolina, Montreal, the New York Islanders and Toronto are all right behind them.

"I think our game has turned the corner as much as anything," coach Tom Renney said after a 5-0 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday. "Our circumstance has provided proper motivation to get the job done wherever we are. That circumstance being the playoff race and having to work hard wherever we are to get in it."

New York set the tone early against the Flyers with Colton Orr's knockout punch of Todd Fedoruk just 21 seconds into the game, and Henrik Lundqvist made 17 saves to register his second shutout in three contests.

Lundqvist stopped 30 shots in last Saturday's win over Boston and is 6-0-0 with a 1.32 goals-against average and one shutout against the Bruins in his career. He has started the last nine games for the Rangers, going 6-1-2 with a 1.31 GAA.

Sean Avery scored two goals against the Flyers and has a goal and six assists in his last two games against the Bruins. Brendan Shanahan assisted on both of Avery's goals Wednesday in his first game back from a concussion suffered on Feb. 17.

"I wanted it to just be about the team and getting a win and keeping the focus," said Shanahan, who still leads the Rangers with 28 goals despite missing 15 games.

Boston fell 6-3 to Montreal on Thursday, but finally managed to get on the scoreboard. Phil Kessel's goal 2:09 into the game snapped a drought of 143 seconds, 25 minutes for the Bruins, who had been shut out the previous two games by the Rangers and Canadiens.

Boston allowed five unanswered goals in the last 22 minutes, though, to lose its third straight and sixth in its last eight.

"It's hard to have fun when you are losing," said Tim Thomas, who is 0-4-2 with a 3.81 GAA in his career against New York.

The Bruins are just 4-8-1 at home since Jan. 20.

by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us

More NHL Hockey coverage from theSpread.com

 - NHL Hockey news wire
 - NHL top stories
 - Current NHL injuries
 - NHL Hockey schedule
 - NHL Hockey standings
 - NHL goalie stats
 - NHL Hockey scoreboard
 - NHL Hockey odds
 - NHL public betting charts
 - Expert NHL Picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NHL Home

NHL Top Stories

Thumbnail Allen, St. Louis run into red-hot Detroit Having captured five contests in a row, the Red Wings look exactly like the team that terrorized the Blues for years in the Central Division. Tonight, St....
Thumbnail Chicago hopes to hammer Calgary tonight The Blackhawks don’t resemble their usual selves through the first six games of the season. Fortunately for the Windy City faithful, a get-well card should...
Thumbnail Confident Canadiens welcome Philly to town   The Canadiens emerged victorious from their wide-open battle against Boston over the weekend. Will Michel Therrien’s club be able to thrive at a more...
Thumbnail Anaheim searching for early-season traction After commencing the season with four straight wins, Vancouver finally fell last night in shootout fashion. Will Willie...
Thumbnail Wild's top threat tries to snap out of funk Minnesota’s off to a 3-1-1 start despite getting no production from its best offensive player. But will Zach Parise finally light the lamp today?
More inNHL Articles  

NHL Headlines

More inNHL News  

NHL Team Pages