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Monday's NHL playoff action: What bettors need to know

Toronto Maple Leafs at Boston Bruins (-190, 5)

Series tied 3-3.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have clawed back from a 3-1 deficit to force Game 7 in their Eastern Conference first-round series with the Boston Bruins. Fourth-seeded Boston hosts the fifth-seeded Maple Leafs on Monday to determine who will advance to face the winner of the series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers. Toronto goaltender James Reimer has allowed two goals on 74 shots following a 4-3 overtime defeat in Game 4 and came within 26 seconds of posting his first career playoff shutout in Sunday’s 2-1 triumph at home in Game 6, giving his team a chance for its first postseason series victory since defeating the Ottawa Senators in the first round in 2004.

The Bruins appear to be suffering from the same inability to score that plagued them at times during the regular season. Boston, which netted 131 goals during the 48-game campaign, averaged 3.75 goals over the first four games of the series thanks in large part to the line of David Krejci, Milan Lucic and Nathan Horton, but that trio has slowed its pace while the rest of the Bruins try to find their rhythm. Tyler Seguin, Brad Marchand and Jaromir Jagr all have failed to record a goal heading into the final game of the series. To make matters worse for Boston, the team announced it would be stuck in Toronto overnight and would not arrive home until Monday morning due to an issue with the team’s charter plane.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, RDS, NESN (Boston)

ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS: Captain Dion Phaneuf opened the scoring on Sunday with his first postseason goal since April 15, 2008 - when he was a member of the Calgary Flames. Phil Kessel scored his third of the series later in the contest and is finding some rare success against his former team. Kessel, who was limited to three goals and nine points in 22 career regular-season contests against Boston, has four points in the series. James van Riemsdyk added two assists in Game 6 to raise his team-leading total to five points. With defensemen Mike Kostka and Mark Fraser lost to injuries, Jake Gardiner is embracing a larger role. Gardiner, who has four points after being a healthy scratch in Game 1, was second on the team in ice time behind Phaneuf on Sunday after leading the team in Game 5. Tyler Bozak missed Sunday’s game after aggravating an upper-body injury and is questionable for Monday.

ABOUT THE BRUINS: Tuukka Rask has performed well in net for Boston in his first playoff action since 2010 with a .932 save percentage thus far, but beyond Krejci’s line and captain Zdeno Chara, offense has been hard to find for the Bruins. Patrice Bergeron was held without a point on four shots in Game 6 and has scored once in the series. Seguin, selected second overall with the draft pick Toronto gave to Boston as part of the Kessel trade, leads the team with 27 shots but has yet to break through. Defenseman Andrew Ference, who missed Game 2 due to a suspension for hitting Toronto center Mikhail Grabovski in the head, was hurt in the third period of Game 5 and missed Sunday’s contest. Rookie Dougie Hamilton - another piece of the Kessel trade - played his second game of the series in place of Ference. Lucic scored the lone goal in Game 6 - his first of the postseason to go with six assists.

TRENDS:

* Over is 13-5-1 in the last 19 meetings in Boston.
* Over is 12-5-2 in the last 19 meetings.
* Maple Leafs are 4-12 in the last 16 meetings in Boston.
* Maple Leafs are 4-12 in the last 16 meetings.
* Road team is 4-1 in the last five meetings.

OVERTIME:


1. Entering Monday, Boston is 15-2 all-time in series in which it held a 3-1 lead.

2. Toronto rookie C Joe Colborne, who was drafted in the first round by Boston in 2008, started in place of Bozak in Game 6. He registered six hits and two shots while logging 15:05 of ice time in his first career postseason appearance.

3. The Maple Leafs have not won three consecutive games against the Bruins since 2011, when they won twice on the road and once at home between February and March. That streak included a shootout victory.

New York Rangers at Washington Capitals (-130, 5)

Series tied 3-3.

The sixth-seeded New York Rangers and Southeast Division champion Washington Capitals are no strangers to facing off in a decisive Game 7. After the Rangers defeated the Capitals in last season's Eastern Conference second-round series with a 2-1 home triumph in Game 7, they'll look to repeat the feat on the road Monday in the final contest of the first-round set. That won't be an easy task as third-seeded Washington has won all three of its home games in the series - and 10 of 11 versus New York at the Verizon Center.

The Rangers, who are 0-5 all-time in Game 7s on the road, saw their series with the Capitals extended to the final contest for the third time in five years. Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist registered his seventh career postseason shutout with 27 saves and Derick Brassard scored in the second period as New York posted a 1-0 victory on Sunday. Brassard has collected a team-leading seven points (two goals, five assists) in his first playoff series.

TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS2, MSG (New York), CSN (Washington)

ABOUT THE RANGERS: While Brassard has enjoyed individual success, fellow former Columbus star Rick Nash has been nearly invisible in the series. Nash, who led the team with 21 goals in the regular season, has been limited to just one assist against Washington. In addition, New York's power play continues to lack punch. The Rangers failed on all five of their opportunities with the man advantage in Game 6 - including a 5-on-3 situation that lasted 44 seconds in the first period. New York is just 2-for-26 on the power play in the series.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS: Hart Trophy finalist Alex Ovechkin hasn't dented the scoresheet in the last four contests. "It is what it is, nothing you can do," the captain said. "You're not gonna cry and say it's over. (Monday) is huge." Goaltender Braden Holtby knows that all too well as he prepares for his third career Game 7. The 23-year-old helped Washington skate to a 2-1 overtime win over Boston in the first round last season before making 29 saves in the decisive contest against the Rangers.

TRENDS:

* Home team is 6-0 in the last six meetings.
* Under is 21-6-2 in the last 29 meetings in Washington.
* Under is 14-5-8 in the last 27 meetings.
* Rangers are 1-5 in the last six meetings in Washington.

OVERTIME:

1. After Washington recorded a 3-1 triumph in Game 1, the next five contests resulted in one-goal outcomes.

2. New York has scored just two goals in three games in the nation's capital.

3. Washington overcame a 3-1 deficit in the series before skating to a 2-1 win in Game 7 in 2009. Veteran Sergei Fedorov scored the game-winning goal with 4:59 remaining in the third period.

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