The No. 1 seed in the East, the New York Rangers will look to salvage their season in this crucial Game 7 in NHL betting action on Thursday night, as they take on the upstart Ottawa Senators.
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Ottawa isn’t just carrying the torch for the city, but it is the only team left standing that is from Canada. These Canadian teams tend to bind together against all of the American teams in the playoffs, and it would be a travesty to the whole country if it were knocked out of the postseason before the second round even started. The Senators have done their job in this series though, and you have to think that they would have been thrilled at the start of this series just to be involved in a Game 7. Craig Anderson has stood toe-to-toe with a very good offense and one of the best net minders that the game has had in the last decade, and the team has figured out how to win a number of the close games. The Sens just haven’t given up for the most part in games, and they are consistently being thorns in the sides of the Rangers. Game 7 hasn’t historically treated the Senators well, as they have played in four of these all-or-nothing games before in team history, losing all four. They were beaten by the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the playoffs in 1997, the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round in 2002, the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Finals in 2003, and the Maple Leafs again in the first round of the playoffs in 2004.
When the Rangers left Madison Square Garden after getting shut out in Game 5 by Anderson, they did so to a chorus of boos. They really did look like the better team in the game on Monday night though, coming up with a 3-2 victory that really should have been a heck of a lot more comfortable 3-1 win if not for a goal that should have been disallowed by the replay crew in Toronto. Be mindful of the fact that Henrik Lundqvist did some mouthing off after that game was complete, saying that someone wanted the Senators to win the game, insinuating that there was some shoddy officiating going on both on the ice and in Toronto. That could come back to really hurt him when push comes to shove if there are some close calls in the crease on Thursday night. That being said, Lundqvist has managed to fight off just about everything that has come his way in his career, though he has never faced the pressures of a Game 7 before. The last Game 7 that this team played was in 1994 when the team won the Stanley Cup over the Vancouver Canucks.
Ottawa Senators @ New York Rangers Pick: If the Rangers were to lose this game, it would be an incredibly missed opportunity with as many good teams have already bowed out of the playoffs. Ottawa would look at this as a great season and a great series that could have gone either way. We think that the odds are on the Sens to get the job done in this one in some sort of fashion, and we think that they are the team worth backing.
Free Hockey Pick: Ottawa Senators
Aaron Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.