Here is the one guarantee about the Eastern Conference semifinal of the NHL playoffs: At no point going forward can the Rangers expect their opponent to play like the Capitals did in Game 7 of their first-round series, a contest the Rangers won on Monday night running away, 5-0.

Most especially, the Rangers can’t expect that kind of lack of resolve from a Bruins team against whom they begin their second-round squabble tomorrow night in Boston with what should be a physical fireworks show on ice.

“They’re a big heavy team, they’re tough,” Rick Nash said after Game 7 in Washington, the superstar winger going the entire series without a goal. “It’s going to be a tough series, but we’ll enjoy this one and then [get] back to work.”

Yes, work is what will be needed because work is what the Bruins will require of the Rangers if they want to advance to their second consecutive conference finals.

This Bruins team is not too dissimilar to the one that hoisted the Stanley Cup two seasons ago, meaning they are a relentless bunch of malcontents, focused solely on doing what it takes to win. Mix that with a touch of skill and a goaltender in Tuukka Rask who can steal games, and it’s easy to see why after a sluggish start they managed to secure the No. 4 seed.

“They’re a big physical team,” said Arron Asham, the Rangers’ gritty forward whose game-opening goal in Game 7 set the tone. “They’ve got some skill up front. I think we match up very similar. We just need to play our game, play smart hockey, and we’re going to go [to Boston] and try and steal one.”

The most damning fact for the Blueshirts is how the Bruins come into this series, still riding high from one of the most historic Game 7s in playoff history. Just about the time on Monday night when the Rangers were wrapping up their laugh-fest, the Bruins had scored three unanswered goals — two in the final 1:22 of regulation — to tie the Maple Leafs and take the game to overtime. That’s when Patrice Bergeron netted the game-winner, making the Bruins the first team to come back from a three-goal deficit in the third period of a Game 7 to win.

“I heard some rumblings about it,” Asham said about the Bruins-Leafs game. “I looked up a few times and I had seen that Toronto was up 4-1 and that’s who I thought we were facing. A few minutes later it was a different story. That’s a tough way to lose.”