Stanley Cup Playoffs : Eastern Conference 1st Round Previews

Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE

The best time of the year starts Tuesday night! Here's a quick look at the "other conference.' Western Conference will post later tonight. Complete look at Wild is coming tomorrow.

Pittsburgh Penguins (1) vs New York Islanders (8)

Season Series: Penguins 4-1-0

Jan. 29 -- Islanders 4-1 at Pittsburgh
Feb. 05 -- Penguins 4-2 at Islanders
Mar. 10 -- Penguins 6-1 at Pittsburgh
Mar. 22 -- Penguins 4-2 at Islanders
Mar. 30 - Penguins 2-0 at Pittsburgh

Series Schedule

Weds 5/1/13 6:30 P.M. NYI @ PIT
Fri 5/3/13 6 P.M. NYI @ PIT
Sun 5/5/13 11 A.M. PIT @ NYI
Tues 5/7/13 6 P.M. PIT @ NYI
*Thurs 5/9/13 6 P.M. NYI @ PIT
*Sat 5/11/13 TBD PIT @ NYI
*Sun 5/12/13 TBD NYI @ PIT

Pittsburgh Penguins

SB Nation blog : Pensburgh

Regular Season Record : 36-12-0 • 72 Pts.

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Sidney Crosby 36 15 41 56 26
Chris Kunitz 48 22 30 52 30
Pascal Dupuis 48 20 18 38 31
Kris Letang 35 5 33 38 16
James Neal 40 21 15 36 5

Goaltender

Marc-Andre Fleury 23-8-0, .916 save %, 2.39 GAA, 1 SO

Ex-Blackhawks factor

Craig Adams

New York Islanders

SB Nation blog : Lighthouse Hockey

Regular Season Record: 24-17-7 • 55 Pts.

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
John Tavares 48 28 19 47 -2
Matt Moulson 47 15 29 44 -3
Brad Boyes 48 10 25 35 -6
Frans Nielsen 48 6 23 29 -3
Mark Streit 48 6 21 27 -14

Goaltender:

Evgeni Nabokov 23-11-7, .910 save %, 2.50 GAA, 3 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor:

None (unless you want to include Marty Reasoner)

Storyline/Prediction

The Penguins are the far superior team in this series, outscoring the Isles 17-9 in their 5 regular season games. These two division rivals do not like each other which should make this series a bit more interesting to watch. The Islanders are a great story for making the playoffs when nobody expecting anything from them this season. They have some exciting young players, who are coming into their own, like John Tavares and Matt Moulson. I would love to see the Isles pull of the huge upset in this series but I just don't see it happening. With Sidney Crosby cleared to practice, and possibly in the lineup for Game 1, the best team in the East just got even better. The Islanders just don't have the talent to make this much of a series. Penguins in 5.

Montreal Canadiens (2) vs Ottawa Senators (7)

Season Series: Tied 2-1-1

Jan. 30 -- Senators 5-1 at Ottawa
Feb. 03 -- Canadiens 2-1 at Montreal
Feb. 25 -- Senators 2-1 at Ottawa (SO)
Mar 13 -- Canadiens 4-3 at Montreal (SO)

Series Scehdule

Thurs 5/2/13 6 P.M. OTT @ MON
Fri 5/3/13 6 P.M. OTT @ MON
Sun 5/5/13 6 P.M. MON @ OTT
Tues 5/7/13 6 P.M. MON @ OTT
*Thurs 5/9/13 6 P.M. OTT @ MON
*Sat 5/11/13 TBD MON @ OTT
*Sun 5/12/13 TBD OTT @ MON

Montreal Canadiens

SB Nation Blog: Habs Eyes On The Prize

Regular Season Record : 29-14-5 • 63 Pts

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Max Pacioretty 44 15 24 39 8
P.K. Subban 42 11 27 38 12
Tomas Plekanec 47 14 19 33 3
Andrei Markov 48 10 20 30 -9
Lars Eller 46 8 22 30 8

Goaltender:

Carey Price 21-13-4, .905 save %, 2.59 GAA, 3 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor:

Rene Bourque, Travis Moen, Michael Blunden

Ottawa Senators

SB Nation Blog: Silver Seven

Regular Season Record: 25-17-6 • 56 Pts

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Kyle Turris 48 12 17 29 6
Sergei Gonchar 45 3 24 27 4
Daniel Alfredsson 47 10 16 26 1
Mika Zibanejad 42 7 13 20 9
Jakob Silfverberg 48 10 9 19 9

Goaltender:

Craig Anderson 24-12-9, .941 save %, 1.69 GAA, 3 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor:

Craig Anderson

Storyline/Prediction

The Habs were handed the Northeast Division crown and the #2 seed that goes with it, due to the bad play of the Boston Bruins down the stretch. This will be the first time the Senators and Canadiens will meet in the post season since Ottawa's return to the NHL. This series will come down to goaltending. Montreal, despite not having a single player with 40 points, was the 4th highest scoring team in the regular season with 3.04 goals per game. The Senators, will all their injuries, rode Park Ridge native Craig Anderson to a playoff berth. Carey Price has not played very well the last couple of weeks of the season, which should have Habs fans a bit nervous. I think Anderson is going to make the difference in this series and sparks the upset. Senators in 7

Washington Capitals (3) vs New York Rangers (6)

Regular Season Series: Rangers 2-0-1

Feb. 17 -- Rangers 2-1 at New York
Mar. 10 -- Rangers 4-1 at Washington
Mar. 24 -- Capitals 3-2 at New York (SO)

Series Schedule:

Thurs 5/2/13 6:30 P.M. NYR @ WAS
Sat 5/4/13 11:30 A.M. NYR @ WAS
Mon 5/6/13 6:30 P.M. WAS @ NYR
Weds 5/8/43 6:30 P.M. WAS @ NYR
*Fri 5/10/13 6:30 P.M. NYR @ WAS
*Sun 5/12/13 TBD WAS @ NYR
*Mon 5/13/13 TBD NYR @ WAS

Washington Capitals

SB Nation Blog: Jasper's Rink

Regular Season Record: 27-18-3 • 57 Pts

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Alex Ovechkin 48 32 24 56 2
Mike Ribeiro 48 13 36 49 -4
Nicklas Backstrom 48 8 40 48 8
Troy Brouwer 47 19 14 33 -5
Mike Green 35 12 14 26 -3

Goaltender:

Braden Holtby 23-12-1, .920 save %, 2.58 GAA, 4 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor

Troy Brouwer

New York Rangers

SB Nation Blog: Blue Shirt Banter

Regular Season Record: 26-18-4 • 56 Pts

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Derek Stepan 48 18 26 44 25
Rick Nash 44 21 21 42 16
Brad Richards 46 11 23 34 8
Ryan Callahan 45 16 15 31 9
Carl Hagelin 48 10 14 24 10

Goaltender:

Henrik Lundqvist 24-16-3, .926 save %, 2.05 GAA, 2 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor:

None

Storyline/Prediction

This is a match up between two teams that were on the outside looking just four weeks ago. Both the Caps and the Rangers played extremely well down the stretch and will meet each other for the third time in the last four post seasons. It is no coincidence that the Caps turned their season around when Alex Ovechkin remembered how to play like,well, Alex Ovechkin. The Rangers got a boost at the trade deadline when they shipped Marion Gaborik off to the Blue Jackets for Derek Dorsett, Derick Brassard,and John Moore. The addition of Ryan Clowe, from the Sharks, also helped boost the Rangers lineup. This will be a very close series with two teams very familiar with each other. In the end, it is very hard to pick a team with Braden Holtby over a Henrik Lundqvist lead team, Rangers in 7

Boston Bruins (4) vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Regular Season Series: Bruins 3-1-0

Feb. 02 -- Bruins 1-0 at Toronto
Mar. 07 -- Bruins 4-2 at Boston
Mar. 23 -- Leafs 3-2 at Toronto
Mar. 25 -- Bruins 3-2 at Boston (SO)

Series Schedule:

Weds 5/1/13 6 P.M. TOR @ BOS
Sat 5/3/13 6 P.M. TOR @ BOS
Mon 5/5/13 6 P.M. BOS @ TOR
Weds 5/8/13 6 P.M. BOS @ TOR
*Fri 5/10/13 6 P.M. TOR @ BOS
*Sun 5/12/13 TBD BOS @ TOR
*Mon 5/13/13 TBD TOR @ BOS

Boston Bruins

SB Nation Blog: Stanley Cup of Chowder

Regular Season Record: 28-14-6 • 72 Pts

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Brad Marchand 45 18 18 36 23
David Krejci 47 10 23 33 1
Tyler Seguin 48 16 16 32 23
Patrice Bergeron 42 10 22 32 24
Milan Lucic 46 7 20 27 8

Goaltender

Tuukka Rask 19-10-5, .929 save %, 2.00 GAA, 5 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor

Shawn Thornton, Aaron Johnson

Toronto Maple Leafs

SB Nation Blog: Pension Plan Puppets

Regular Season Record: 26-17-5 • 55 Pts

Leading Scorers:

Player GP G A PTS +/-
Phil Kessel 48 20 32 52 -3
Nazem Kadri 48 18 26 44 15
James van Riemsdyk 48 18 14 32 -7
Cody Franson 45 4 25 29 4
Tyler Bozak 46 12 16 28 -1

Goaltender

James Reimer 19-8-5, .924 save %, 2.46 GAA, 4 SO

Ex-Blackhawks Factor:

None

Storyline/Prediction

There are plenty of angles for the media to eat up on the series. You have an "Original 6" match up, the Leafs return to the post season, and Phil Kessel playing against his former team. Much like the Islanders, the Leafs have been a great story to follow this season. The Bruins, who have struggled a bit of late, is a team built for the playoffs. They have the scoring depth, size, grit and experience which will make them a very tough out this post season. They still have many players who are just two years removed from winning the Stanley Cup. I think this overall edge in experience will put Boston over in this series. Bruins in 6

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