NHL 2017 Stanley Cup Playoff Second Round Preview

2017 Stanley Cup Playoff

Second Round Preview

It’s on to the second round with 8 remaining teams in the hunt for the Stanley Cup. Join the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs fantasy draft starting this Wednesday (Enter Now). Here are some insight into each series, we break them down one by one.

 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (50-21-11) vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (55-19-8) 

Season series (2-0-2 WAS)

A rematch of last year’s Eastern Conference semifinal will take place between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals. The Penguins enter as the defending Cup champs, and will be a rested team, having dispatched Columbus in five games in their first-round matchup. The Capitals knocked off the underdog Maple Leafs in six games, and are hoping that this is the year Washington finally wins its first Stanley Cup.

 EDMONTON OILERS (47-26-9) vs. ANAHEIM DUCKS (46-23-13) 

Season Series (3-2 EDM)

With there first playoff series win in more than ten years, the Edmonton Oilers are done talking about team inexperience. They’ll now be facing off against the Anaheim Ducks starting Wednesday in California. Goalie Cam Talbot led the Oilers past last year’s Western champion San Jose Sharks in six game during the first round. He frustrated the Sharks offense all series long, recording two shutouts along the way.

The Ducks will be counting on veterans like Ryan Getzlaf and Ryan Kesler to win. They’ve ended the regular season with an 11-0-3 record in their last fourteen games and finished ahead of Edmonton in the Pacific division by two points. Anaheim pummeled the other NHL team from the province of Alberta (Calgary Flames) in four game during Round 1 of the playoffs.  They’ll now be looking to ride that hot streak toward the Western Finals.

  OTTAWA SENATORS (44-28-10) vs. NEW YORK RANGERS (48-28-6) 

Season series (2-1 OTT)

The wild-card New York Rangers are fresh off bouncing the Atlantic Division-leading Montreal Canadiens in six games, and the Ottawa Senators just got through a series against Boston that couldn’t really have been closer — four of the six games went to overtime, and a single goal decided each. At the top of the Rangers leaderboard is a familiar face for Senators fans: Mika Zibanejad’s goal and three assists has him leading New York this post-season after an up-and-down, injury-filled first year in The Big Apple. The comparisons will be plentiful in this series, as Derick Brassard, whom the Rangers dealt to Ottawa in exchange for Zibanejad, also leads his team after Round 1.

This series should be close, low-scoring and plenty physical, featuring two hungry teams. One hasn’t had a ton of playoff success (Ottawa), and the other recently come oh so close to winning it all (New York, the runner-up in 2014).

  NASHVILLE PREDATORS (41-29-12) vs.  ST. LOUIS BLUES (46-29-7)  

Season series (3-2 NAS)

The third- and fourth-best teams in the tough Central Division knocked off the two 100-plus-point Central teams in Round 1. Both opening round series were upsets, but for different reasons. Although the Blackhawks were the popular pick to come out of the Chicago-Nashville series, even those picking the favourite were expecting it to be close — most thought of it as a coin flip. So while it’s not a shocker that the Predators knocked off the Hawks, it was surprising to see them blow through the Windy City with such ease.

 The Blues, a seller at the trade deadline when they moved pending UFA Kevin Shattenkirk to the Capitals, got through the Wild in another short five-game series because Jake Allen was a brick wall standing against Minnesota’s onslaught. The Blues, clearly, were the inferior team in Round 1 and got through solely because of the play from their 26-year-old netminder.

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