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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Capitals/Bruins game 7 breakdown

The Boston Bruins host the Washington Capitals tonight in game 7 of their first round series. These two teams have put on a thrilling and historic first round series. This is the first NHL playoff series of all-time to have each of the first six games decided by a single goal. I expect tonight's game to be another close struggle. There has only been one two goal lead for either team through the first six games. This two goal lead by Washington lasted under three minutes, as the Bruins scored two goals in 38 seconds to tie game 5 back up.

In recent game 7's the Bruins have dominated; winning three of their four series last year in game 7, including the Stanley Cup finals. Meanwhile the Capitals have had real struggles recently in game 7's; losing three of their last four game game 7 opportunities.

For the Capitals to win: Braden Holtby will have to continue his amazing play. Alexander Ovechkin will have to be the best player on the ice, for either team. Ovi leads the team with 5 points in this series and will probably have to score for his team to win tonight. As a team, they have to continue to play smart defensively, and limit the Bruins second chances and rebound opportunities. The Caps also have to limit turnovers, as that is how the Bruins like to generate their offense. Turnovers led to their loss in game 6, despite the fact they outplayed the Bruins, for much of the game.

For the Bruins to Win: Tim Thomas has to play better than he has so far this series. The Bruins can not afford to have him let in a soft goal or two, like he has been prone to do the last couple of games. The Bruins top stars; Lucic, Bergeron, Krejci and Seguin need to carry them to victory. These players had been nonexistent until game 6. This Bruins team does not have the depth to overcome another disappearance by these stars. The Bruins like to play physical, but they have to be smart about it, and not take dumb penalties in this game if they want to win tonight.

Prediction: Capitals 3-2 in overtime-The Capitals have played great in this series and I think that continues tonight. Ovechkin will be a factor scoring at least one goal. Look for Jay Beagle and Brooks Laich to come up huge tonight, as well as Braden Holtby. The Bruins have won four game 7's in a row so they are due to lose, plus they have been outplayed so far in this series by the Capitals. The Capitals appear to want this more, so that's my pick.

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