Central Division First Round
The Florida Panthers are in an unenviable position, as the Tampa Bay Lightning have never lost a series after winning the first two games. Even worse, the Panthers themselves have never won a series after losing the first two games. Still, if any roster could break those streaks, it might be this year’s Panthers, who were the only team in the regular season to beat the Bolts twice at Amalie Arena.
East Division First Round
Jeff Carter scored what would be the game-winning goal for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday, as they evened out the series against the New York Islanders with their first win. The series has been tight so far, though tonight we’ll see if that changes with the move to Long Island. The Islanders had a frightening 21-4-3 record at home this season.
North Division First Round
The biggest crime Gary Bettman ever committed was allowing four Canadian teams into the playoffs this season, but if it can’t be the Boston Bruins, there’s no better scenario for me than the Montreal Canadiens bouncing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round. I know everyone wants to root for the Old Guys Without A Cup (Joe Thornton), but it’s a big ask for me to consider any other scenario.
West Division First Round
Speaking of crimes, the Vegas Golden Knights have tied their series against the Minnesota Wild. Though Matt Dumba opened scoring, it was all Vegas in Game 2, scoring three unanswered goals, including back-to-back goals from Alex Tuch. The Wild are throwing everything they can at Vegas, and Marc-Andre Fleury can make or break a game.