Home > Analysis/Opinion > 2012 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals + Daily Score Updates

2012 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals + Daily Score Updates

(1) NEW YORK RANGERS

VS.

(7) WASHINGTON CAPITALS

New York wins series 4-3

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SCHEDULE:

Game #

Road Team

Home Team

Date

Start Time (Eastern)

TV Channels

Final Score

1

Washington

New York

Saturday, April 28

3:00

NBC, CBC, RDS

NYR wins 3-1 in regulation

2

Washington

New York

Monday, April 30

7:30

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

WSH wins 3-2 in regulation

3

New York

Washington

Wednesday, May 2

7:30

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

NYR wins 2-1 in 3rd OT

4

New York

Washington

Saturday, May 5

12:30

NBC, CBC, RDS

WSH wins 3-2 in regulation

5*

Washington

New York

Monday, May 7

7:30

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

NYR wins 3-2 in 1st OT

6*

New York

Washington

Wednesday, May 9

7:30

CBC, RDS, NBCSN

WSH wins 2-1 in regulation

7*

Washington

New York

Saturday, May 12

7:30

CBC, RDSI, NBCSN

NYR wins 2-1 in regulation

*- If necessary

SEASON SERIES:

Season series tied 2-2

OFFENSIVE STAT LEADERS:

Stat

New York

Washington

Goals

3- Brian Boyle

3- Alexander Semin

Assists

3- Brad Richards, Dan Girardi, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov

3- Alex Ovechkin, Brooks Laich, Nicklas Backstrom, Roman Hamrlik

Points

5- Brad Richards

5- Alex Ovechkin

Plus-Minus

+3- Anton Stralman

+5- Roman Hamrlik, Mike Green

GOALTENDING MATCHUP:

Player

Record (Wins-Losses-Overtime Losses)

Goals Against Average

Save Percentage

Shutouts

Henrik Lundqvist (New York)

4-1-2

1.70

.945

1

Braden Holtby (Washington)

4-1-2

2.00

.940

0

Braden Holtby was one of the better stories in round 1 after his spectacular performance against the Bruins.
PHOTO CREDITS: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

New York (4-3 over Ottawa in round 1): It took more games than everyone expected, but the Rangers were able to squeeze by the 8th seed Senators by the hair of their chins.  The two teams split the first two home series, with the Rangers taking the first game in each series.  However, Ottawa would turn the tables on New York by blanking the Rangers 2-0 in front of their home crowd.  The Rangers would even things out after a three-goals second period in game 6, setting the stage for a tight game 7, where goals by defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi helped the Rangers advance to the second round.

Dan Girardi and the rest of the Rangers D only limited the Sens to 12 goals in 7 games.
PHOTO CREDITS: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Washington (4-3 over Boston in round 1): The two teams traded OT heroics in games 1 and 2, with Chris Kelly scoring the only goal in game 1 and Nicklas Backstrom responding in game 2.  Zdeno Chara’s late tally in game 3 gave the Bruins a 2-1 series advantage, but Braden Holtby put on a show in game 4, making 43 saves in the effort.  Troy Brouwer returned the late heroics in game 5, as his late tally put the defending champs on the verge of elimination.  The Bruins survived OT in game 6, but weren’t so lucky in game 7 as Joel Ward scored his first of the series in game 7 OT to complete the upset.

ANALYSIS:

Once again, I’m pleased to be joined by Nik from The News of Sports who will be giving his analysis of every series this round.  Click on the link below to visit his blog.

New York in 6.  Unlike the past two times these teams have met each other in the playoffs, the Rangers will get the better of the Caps this time around.  The only reason I have this series going to 6 is because of a certain goaltender by the name of Braden Holtby.  New York’s defense will frustrate the Caps snipers, and I believe that Marian Gaborik will start producing.  If the Rangers can continue supporting Henrik Lundqvist with their superb shot blocking ability, then Washington could have a hard time putting pucks by Lundqvist.  Braden Holtby could steal a couple games for the Caps, but the Rangers will rebound from a tough series and return to their form.

The News of Sports:

he Rangers come in against the Capitals as a shaky yet confident team after beating the Ottawa Senators in 7 hard fought games, behind the solid play from netminder Henrik Lundqvist. To continue in these playoffs, the battle-tested Rangers will need to retain their form at home- as well as Lundqvist’s at home and on the road. The Capitals will be no easy opponent.

The Capitals were underachievers in the regular season, but stunned the defending champions Bruins in the first round, also in seven games. Joel Ward sent off the Bruins in style, scoring an OT goal to keep Boston home (the Bruins were the home team). However, perhaps the breakout star of the playoffs, Braden Holtby, will need to shine in net against the Rangers, and continue his bafflingly-good performances for DC. Alex Ovechkin is heating up at the right time, and once again, the key to this series is how well the Caps do in getting the puck past Lundqvist.  Rangers in six games.

__________________________________________________________________________________________________________

(5) PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

VS.

(6) NEW JERSEY DEVILS

New Jersey wins series 4-1

________________________________________________________________________________________________________

SCHEDULE:

Game #

Road Team

Home Team

Date

Start Time (Eastern)

TV Channels

Final Score

1

New Jersey

Philadelphia

Sunday, April 29

3:00

NBC, CBC, RDS

PHI wins 4-3 in 1st OT

2

New Jersey

Philadelphia

Tuesday, May 1

7:30

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

NJ wins 4-1 in regulation

3

Philadelphia

New Jersey

Thursday, May 3

7:30

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

NJ wins 4-3 in 1st OT

4

Philadelphia

New Jersey

Sunday, May 6

7:30

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

NJ wins 4-2 in regulation

5*

New Jersey

Philadelphia

Tuesday, May 8

N/A

NBCSN, CBC, RDS

NJ wins 3-1 in regulation

6*

Philadelphia

New Jersey

Thursday, May 10

N/A

CBC, RDS

7*

New Jersey

Philadelphia

Saturday, May 12

N/A

CBC, RDS

*- If necessary

SEASON SERIES:

Philadelphia won season series 3-2-1

OFFENSIVE STAT LEADERS:

Stat

Philadelphia

New Jersey

Goals

6- Claude Giroux

 3- Travis Zajac, Ilya Kovalchuk

Assists

8- Claude Giroux

 5- David Clarkson

Points

14- Claude Giroux

 6- Travis Zajac

Plus-Minus

+6- Claude Giroux

 +5- Stephen Gionta

GOALTENDING MATCHUP:

Ilya Bryzgalov (Philadelphia)

4-2-0

3.89

.871

0

Sergei Bobrovsky (Philadelphia)

0-0-0

8.11

.722

0

Martin Brodeur (New Jersey)

 4-2-0

 2.06  .922

1

Johan Hedberg (New Jersey)

0-1-0

1.67

.929

0

It could be an easy series, but Ilya Bryzgalov cannot afford to give up as many goals as he did to the Pens.
PHOTO CREDITS: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

HOW THEY GOT HERE:

Philadelphia (4-2 over Pittsburgh in round 1): We all expected a high-scoring series, but definitely not at the absurd rate the Flyers and Penguins were at.  Flyers took a quick 3-0 series lead, as they simply outscored the Penguins.  Game 2 featured duo hat tricks by teammates Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux, the lattere who finished with a whopping 6 points.  The Penguins would come back in a big way in game 4, chasing Ilya Bryzgalov out of the nets en route to a 10-3 blowout victory.  The scoring was toned down a bit in game 5, but the Pens once again found themselves on top.  However, Marc-Andre Fleury struggled mightily once again, giving up 4 goals in game 6 as the Flyers would make it out alive at the expense of Ilya Bryzgalov’s stats.

Claude Giroux was undoubtedly the MVP of the series for the Flyers in round 1.
PHOTO CREDITS: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

New Jersey (4-3 over Florida in round 1): With the number of leads that New Jersey had, this series should not have extended all the way to the seventh and deciding game.  After splitting the first two games in Florida, the Devils started game 3 with a bang, building a quick 3-0 lead.  However, that lead quickly became a 4-3 deficit by the second period, spelling the end of Marty Brodeur’s last night.  He would make amends in game 4, stopping all 26 shots en route to a 4-0 shutout.  Jose Theodore posted a shutout of his own in game 5, putting the Devils on the verge of elimination.  In game 6, the Devils built up a 2-0 lead, only to see the Panthers come back in the second period, eventually sending it to OT where Travis Zajac’s game-winner would force a 7th game.  It was the same story once again, with the Devils up 2-0 once again, before Florida scored twice in the third period to force overtime.  In the second overtime session, rookie Adam Henrique snapped one by Jose Theodore, as all of New Jersey breathed a heavy sigh of relief.

ANALYSIS:

Philadelphia in 5.  The Devils are a great team and all, but they simply do not match up to the Flyers.  Especially after they barely sneaked by the Panthers.  Time after time, they found themselves in the driver’s seat, only to blow 2-0 and 3-0 leads with a short period of time.  You cannot do that against the Flyers, because they will make you pay.  Just ask the Penguins.  The firepower of the Flyers will simply be too much for Martin Brodeur and company to handle, and the Devils will ultimately bow out of the playoffs quickly.  The only way they will have any chance of winning this series if they can silence the likes of Claude Giroux and Danny Briere, which I don’t see happening at all.

The News of Sports:

The Devils eked out a series win against the 3rd seeded Florida Panthers behind some timely goals from their offense and great saves by the indomitable goaltender, Martin Brodeur. However, they should feel lucky that they’re still in the playoffs. The Panthers didn’t play all that well, and the Flyers should prove to be a much more difficult task. The Devils time and time again in their opening round series had a lead, gave it up, but fortunately, won the game in overtime. In Game 7, that’s exactly what happened, but Adam Henrique was there to seal the win with a double overtime goal to ensure New Jersey would remain in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Devils will advance if Bryzagalov continues to be inconsistent in net for the Flyers and also to stop some of Philly’s explosive scorers.

The Flyers are on top of the world, as far as they’re concerned. They put away the talented Penguins in six games, and at one point, were up 3-0. However, Ilya Bryzagalov was extremely shaky, and gave up 5 goals before being pulled in Game 4, a 10-3 Pittsburgh victory. The key to this series is how well Bryzagalov plays, because the Flyers have one of the best offenses in the league. Claude Giroux was a force to be reckoned with against the Penguins, and was key in their comprehensive series win. He’ll have to continue to play well.

My pick: Flyers in 5 games

The Devils hope that this will be a common scene.
PHOTO CREDITS: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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Categories: Analysis/Opinion

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