Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Predictions

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Updated: April 30, 2015
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Eastern Conference

 

New York Rangers vs. Washington Capitals

For the fifth time since 2009 these two teams will meet in the playoffs, and the second time in Round 2. The Capitals won the first two in 2009 and 2011 and the Rangers returned two favors in 2012 and 2013. Three of the four series went the full seven games and there is no reason why this one will not go the distance. New York’s biggest concern will be the health of star forward Mats Zuccarello and how they will be able to contain Alex Ovechkin. I think Henrik Lundqvist stands tall in this series and gets the job done over a worn out Braden Holtby. 

Prediction: Rangers in 7

 

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

The Lightning are 5-0 against Montreal this season and their last two playoff meeting ended in sweeps with Tampa winning in 2004 and the Habs last year. Both teams are emotionally drained from their first-round series, with the Lightning beating the Wings in seven games. Steven Stamkos will have to be the key for Tampa during the series, as he has no goals so far this postseason. But, in the end it will come down to a battle between expected Hart Trophy and MVP winner Carey Price and Ben Bishop. But for now, I think the Lightning have a slight edge in the offensive department than Montreal.

Prediction: Lightning in 6. 

Western Conference

 

Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames

Both teams are coming off emotional first-round series’. However, the question is: Can the Flames continue their magic of coming back from multiple goal deficits and their never quit mentality? Yes, we know how young, fast and skilled the pesky Flames are, but the Ducks are a tower of power and they need a better fate than Calgary. It was a good run for them and they are close to being Canada’s best hope to win the country’s first Stanley Cup since Montreal in 1993.

Prediction: Ducks in 7 

 

Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild

Could the third time be the charm for Minnesota against Chicago? Well, the Wild are much better this year and this could be their best shot to beat Chicago. Question is: Can Devan Dubnyk stay hot? I give Minnesota a huge edge in that category over Corey Crawford and Scott Darling. However, it looks like Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews are hitting their playoff stride and the Hawks are getting huge contributions from their back end in Johnny Oduya, Duncan Keith and Brent Seabrook, along with Niklas Hjalmarsson. This is the toughest series to choose, and I think Minnesota, because of Dubnyk and the leadership of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, will give Chicago a run for their money.

Prediction: Blackhawks in 7 

 

Photo Cred (NHL.com)

 

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