The Ottawa Senators could move on to the Eastern Conference final by beating the New York Rangers Tuesday night, but oddsmakers are confident this will be the third second-round series to go seven games.
There are several factors that go into setting the -170 line – which implies a better than 60 per cent change of winning – including the Rangers’ popularity and the Senators’ unpopularity with bettors. Yet even if you stripped those factors away, the Rangers would still be a heavy favourite due in part to home ice advantage, which has been a big factor so far in this series.
Should they be that *big* of a favourite though? Maybe, maybe not. One big factor working in Ottawa’s favour is that their No. 1 netminder, Craig Anderson, has been much better than the Rangers’ Henrik Lundqvist this season. Anderson finished the regular season with a .926 save percentage, which Lundqvist posted a .910.
Both goalies have allowed their fair share of bad goals this series, but if Ottawa is to move on tonight, Anderson is likely to be the biggest reason why (and don’t even talk to me about Chris Neil).
Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks opened as a small favourite to beat the Oilers on home ice in their Game 7 match-up. The Penguins/Capitals line is yet to be posted, but Washington will certainly favoured to move on there.
James Gordon is publisher of HockeyMarkets.com. Follow him on Twitter here.