Series preview: Boston Bruins (4) vs. New York Rangers (6)

The Bruins have a balanced group of big, physical forwards.

Series preview: Boston Bruins (4) vs. New York Rangers (6)
Rich Peverley #49 of the Boston Bruins skates with the puck against Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers at the TD Garden on February 12, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

STRENGTHS

Bruins

They have a balanced group of big, physical forwards (with the exception of the pesky but pint-sized Brad Marchand), led by Dave Krejci, Milan Lucic, Nathan Horton and Patrice Bergeron, and they have one of the league’s top defencemen (Norris nominations notwithstanding) in Zdeno Chara.

He played 35:46 in the seventh game, ranked third on the club in scoring with one goal and seven assists and had 25 shots on goal in the series.

Rangers

King Henrik Lundqvist.

Arguably the reason the Rangers got past the Capitals. In the seven games, his goals-against average was 1.65 with a save percentage of .947. Before the Rangers bombed the Capitals 5-0 in the seventh game, they won the first three games by one goal.

A key was that Lundqvist owned Washington’s Alexander Ovechkin, stopping 29 of his 30 shots.

WEAKNESSES

Bruins

Considering how important special teams are during the playoffs, the Bruins have to be worried.

Their power play was 11th among the 16 teams in the opening round, with just three goals in 20 chances.

They also sat 11th in penalty killing, allowing five power-play goals in 20 chances for a percentage of 76.2 per cent.

Rangers

The Minnesota Wild had the worst power play in the first round, finishing dead last with a percentage of 0.0, but the Rangers weren’t far behind, getting just two goals in 28 chances for a percentage of 7.1.

It’s lucky they were better at killing penalties, allowing three goals in 16 chances for an efficiency rate of 81.2 per cent.

These stats aren’t much of a surprise, though. The power play was also bad during the regular season (23rd) and penalty killing was only average (15th).

For the Bruins to win

They’ll have to find a way to beat Lundqvist, one of the leaders in the Conn Smythe sweepstakes.

With five goals and eight assists, David Krejci led the league in scoring in the first round.

Milan Lucic, who had a middling regular season (seven goals, 20 assists), had two goals and seven assists to tie for fourth overall after the first round.

It’ll be all to the good if he can create some havoc in front of Lundqvist.

For the Rangers to win

They’ll need another hot round from Lundqvist, obviously.

It’d also be nice if they got a little production from $7.6 million man Rick Nash and Brad Richards, who collected $12 million this year.

In the first round, Nash averaged 19.47 minutes a game (sixth-most on the team), had 22 shots (most on the team) and had just two assists.

Richards is a shadow of his former self. He had one goal on 14 shots in the first round and was minus-1

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