Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals hits Michael Del Zotto #4 of the New York Rangers into the boards at Madison Square Garden on February 17, 2013 in New York City.
(February 16, 2013 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America)

Video — PHT Extra: Caps-Rangers, Bruins-Leafs Game 7 previews

5 Comments

Tonight promises to be a good one as a pair of do-or-die contests go in Boston and Washington.

The Leafs and Bruins will do battle at TD Garden, this after Toronto rallied from a 3-1 series deficit to force Game 7.

At Verizon, the Caps and Rangers will meet in a Game 7 for the second consecutive year — last postseason, the two met in the Eastern Conference semifinals with the Rangers winning, 2-1.

In advance of both games, Brough and I broke down all the storylines and keys to the games.

Have a look, won’t you?

This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Bruins’ travel plans back to Boston disrupted

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins - Game Five
5 Comments

Members of the Boston Bruins will spend Sunday night in Toronto, after their travel plans ran into a snag earlier in the evening.

“Late during tonight’s game we were made aware that there was a malfunction with our airplane. As a result we are staying in Toronto on Sunday night and the team will travel to Boston on Monday morning,” said Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli in a brief statement on the team’s website.

The Bruins had a chance to close out the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 6 of that Eastern Conference quarter-final Sunday evening, but gave up two third period goals and then couldn’t complete the comeback in a 2-1 loss, resulting in a seventh game.

Game 7 is scheduled for Monday evening.

Bruins coach laments ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ efforts

juliengetty
1 Comment

Some believe that the Boston Bruins have been up-and-down for much of this season. After seeing his team’s 3-1 series lead disappear into a 3-3 tie, head coach Claude Julien couldn’t help but agree.

“As I said to our players after the game, we’ve been Jekyll & Hyde hockey club all year and that’s what we’re seeing right now, so I think it’s important for us to bring the good team to the table tomorrow for Game 7,” Julien said.

Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg hopes Monday’s effort won’t be monstrous.

“Well, we have to show the good side tomorrow night,” Seidenberg said.

It’s too bad Julien didn’t make a reference to “An American Werewolf in London” instead, but that would probably be asking for too much.

(On the other hand, Michael Caine.)

Discuss: Maple Leafs force Game 7 against Bruins

kesselhortongetty
19 Comments

Both the New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs faced must-win situations in Game 6’s on Sunday and each squad found ways to win some tight games. In the case of the Maple Leafs, they beat the Boston Bruins 2-1 in Toronto.

Let’s chat, shall we?

  • Like Henrik Lundqvist at Madison Square Garden, James Reimer came up huge on the big stage at home on Sunday. He stopped 29 out of 30 shots, only yielding to Milan Lucic with about 30 seconds left. Is this the game that establishes him as a legitimate No. 1 goalie or does he need to win Game 7 to really capture the hearts of Leafs fans and respect of critics?
  • Nazem Kadri had his second point of the series, assisting on Dion Phaneuf’s game-opening goal. Can he break out in Game 7 after struggling mightily?
  • Phil Kessel ended up getting the game-winner. Will this reduce the amount of times he needs to cringe and answer questions about the Tyler Seguin/Dougie Hamilton trade? If not, could this at least turn down the volume of the heckling?
  • Which team do you expect to advance with a Game 7 win?
  • Tuukka Rask was in net when the Bruins gave up a 3-0 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2010 and faces the possibility of seeing a 3-1 series lead dissolve against Toronto. If that happens, will he be labeled a choker? Could it even convince Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli to go with a different option in net?
  • Which Game 7 are you looking forward to the most on Sunday?
This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!

Bruins’ Ference to miss Game 6 with unspecified ailment

Joffrey Lupul, Andrew Ference
10 Comments

Boston’s defense corps is taking a hit for tonight’s Game 6 in Toronto.

Bruins coach Claude Julien announced Andrew Ference would miss tonight’s game with an undisclosed ailment and that he didn’t even travel with the team to Toronto. The team says he is day-to-day and Julien says his lineup will be a game-time decision.

With Ference out tonight, look for Julien to possibly split up the pairing of Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg as he did in Game 2 when Ference was suspended. Other lineup issues may force that to happen anyhow.

Making life more difficult is Wade Redden’s status as he may also miss tonight’s game as well. He missed Game 5 with a separate ailment. Redden was optimistic he would play in Game 6, but that will be determined tonight.

Who slots in if they can’t go? CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty notes Aaron Johnson was paired up with Johnny Boychuk during the morning skate in place of Ference. Meanwhile, rookie Matt Bartkowski was paired with Adam McQuaid in Redden’s spot. Rookie Dougie Hamilton could/should also figure into possibilities.

The window for the Leafs to force a Game 7 is opening just a bit more with these developments.