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Playoffs Tonight: Rangers, Bruins kick off their series

May 16, 2013, 8:02 AM EDT

BOSTON, MA - FEBRUARY 12: Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers shoots the puck against Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins at the TD Garden on February 12, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The last of the Conference Semifinals series starts tonight and then we’ll see if the San Jose Sharks can end the Los Angeles Kings’ perfect record at home in the 2013 playoffs.

Please keep in mind that both games can be watched online in addition to the channels listed below.

Game 1: Boston Bruins host New York Rangers (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN)

The New York Rangers and Boston Bruins both needed the full seven games to best their first-round foes, but between them, the Rangers have looked like the better team lately.

After falling behind in their series against the Washington Capitals, Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist posted back-to-back shutouts in Games 6 and 7 to show why he’s arguably the best goaltender in the league. The question is how much help he’ll get from his teammates.

The Rangers’ offense seemed to wake up in Game 7, with captain Ryan Callahan being one of the four New York players to score his first goal of the 2013 postseason. However, Rick Nash hasn’t scored yet and Brad Richards has just one assist in the playoffs. Richards’ struggles have been especially concerning, given that he’s been bumped down to the fourth line.

For Boston, the big question is their defense. Defensemen Wade Redden, Dennis Seidenberg, and Andrew Ference are all dealing with injuries and it would be a huge blow to Boston’s blueline if they had to enter tonight’s contest without any of those three.

At the same time, some of their younger blueliners like Matt Bartkowski and Dougie Hamilton held their own late in the first round, so maybe the Bruins will be able to overcome those injuries.

Game 2: Los Angeles Kings host San Jose Sharks (10:00 p.m. ET, NBCSN)
Los Angeles leads series 1-0

So far, Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick has been just as effective against the San Jose Sharks as he was against the St. Louis Blues in the first round. The Sharks managed to get 35 shots on net in Game 1, but the Kings still won 2-0.

“I spent six days reviewing the St. Louis series, and I heard a lot of the same stuff coming out of their mouths,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “We didn’t accomplish enough. There is a team that just played against them for six nights, and said they had a lot of chances and the goaltender made a number of saves. We can’t be that team again.”

Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle added that his team needs to be “a little hungrier and a little dirtier and a little meaner in front of their net.”

We’ll see if they can solve Quick tonight, but before they get that chance, there’s one other matter to be settled. Sharks forward Raffi Torres has been offered an in-person hearing for his hit on Kings forward Jarret Stoll.

Torres and McLellan both argued that his hit was clean, but his shoulder appeared to hit Stoll’s head and Stoll was forced out of the game as a result of the incident. Torres has a lengthy suspension history, including his 25-game (later reduced to 21-game) suspension for a high hit on Chicago’s Marian Hossa in the 2012 playoffs.

  1. magicrat13 - May 16, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    i think this is going to be an excellent series between two of the “original six”…

    both teams have some momentum going into the game and fully expect this to go 6 or 7 games…

  2. buffalomafia - May 16, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    Bruins in 5

    • homelanddefense - May 16, 2013 at 10:25 AM

      Not sure what would make anyone predict this, go look at all the playoff series the Bruins have been in the past 3-4 years. How many went less that 6 games? 1?

      • barkar942 - May 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

        Rangers in 5.

      • homelanddefense - May 16, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Bruins in 2!

  3. ironyisadeadscene - May 16, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Wonder at what point in the game do they pull Rask so they can score some goals.

    • jcmeyer10 - May 16, 2013 at 10:03 AM

      The Bruins can’t handle 5 on 4 hockey but can dominate in 6 on 5 hockey. Not a player so it’s perplexed me all year.

      Is there that much of a difference?

    • fubar77 - May 16, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      I am a Bruins fan and love my guys, but that right there is some funny #$%&

  4. bruinsfan19 - May 16, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    Going to be a great defensive series expect 6 or 7 games. Lets Go Bruins

  5. fubar77 - May 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    Bruins have their work cut out for them. Especially if they can’t get Seidenberg back on the ice. They do seem to find ways to win though, still this series goes no less than 6 games.

  6. manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    Torres, McLellan, and Sharks fans are the only ones who think that hit was “clean” in any way.

  7. cspsrbums - May 16, 2013 at 11:15 AM

    The question is how much help he’ll get from the refs

    • magicrat13 - May 16, 2013 at 11:59 AM

      no other place to post your whining i see….

  8. manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle added that his team needs to be “a little hungrier and a little dirtier and a little meaner in front of their net.”

    Being “a little dirtier” is a rather poor choice of words. Then again, it would seem no one on the Sharks understands what “dirty” means.

  9. homelanddefense - May 16, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Looks like none of the 3 hurt defensemen practiced this morning, and Marchand left the skate injured. Not looking good….

    • fubar77 - May 16, 2013 at 1:38 PM

      In fairness Marchand was a non factor in the Toronto series. I kept hoping he would break through, but never really did. That doesn’t mean I don’t want the guy on the ice. I do! Hope he is able to play and more importantly able to contribute in a solid way. So we are the underdogs in this one. Been there before. :) Go B’s!

      • homelanddefense - May 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        He was terrible, but overall he is one of their better scorers. Id rather have him than Daugavins. From what I read they are saying Marchand will be fine for tonight.

      • fubar77 - May 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        Oh absolutely. Don’t get me wrong. I love the little ball of hate. I just want him to play up to his potential. He will break through.

  10. bleedingteal4life - May 16, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Hey Manchester, no one cares what u have to say.

    • manchestermiracle - May 16, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      At least I have something to say.

  11. pariseinminnesotabichez - May 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    ^agreed

  12. valoisjoeybfeld69 - May 16, 2013 at 4:34 PM

    The battered Bruins D core will have difficult sustaining the tenacious checking of the Rangers forward. Not only are they battered, but they are dog tired. Chara has been logging way too many minutes per game to remain effective throughout this round.

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