Which team will join the Rangers?

2014 NHL Playoffs odds Stanley Cup predictions

LAS VEGAS, NV (The Spread) – The Rangers punched their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals Thursday night taking the Eastern conference championship with a 4-2 series win over the Canadiens.  Let's take a look at who will be joining them in the Stanley Cup.

Get Big Jay Dotson’s Expert Picks

The Western conference finals continue Friday night in Los Angeles as the Kings look to close the series out over the Blackhawks.  This has been a very entertaining series no doubt about it, and it just wouldn't be right if this didn't go to a Game 7. 

LA will have home ice advantage and their home crowd will be rocking for sure, but you just can't count out the defending champs.  There isn't a whole lot of difference between these two teams, but you have to give the edge to the scrappy Hawks to send this series to a Game 7. 

Also, Game 5 was a high scoring affair, but you have to think that with all that's on the line in Game 6, a lower-scoring game would be expected. Look for the Hawks to take this series in 7.

The Rangers will have a slight edge on rest, if the Hawks do come away with the Western Conference title, but I don't see that making too much of a difference here.   The Rangers were 2-0 versus Chicago during the regular season, but throw that out the window, as the playoffs are a whole new game.  The winner of the West will be playing at home in the first two games versus the Rangers and I see that as a huge advantage to the West. 

I look for the Hawks to beat the Kings but regardless of who wins that series, the winner of the Stanley Cup is likely to come out of the Western Conference.

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