Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 3 predictions 

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Updated: May 14, 2015
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Eastern Conference

New York Rangers vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Well, the Martin St. Louis for Ryan Callahan trade could come full circle in this series. Callahan had an emergency appendectomy this week, so he could be out early in this round. He dominated the Rangers in their three meetings this past season, but that was back in November when the Rangers were struggling, or at least on the cusp of transforming themselves into an elite team.

Tampa won all three meetings and Callahan had four goals, while St. Louis had one. It will be another goaltending duel this time with Ben Bishop and Henrik Lundqvist. I expect some more epic games, as these two teams have that huge speed factor.

Question is, can the Rangers keep Steven Stamkos in check along with rising stars Nikita Kucherov, Tyler Johnson and Ondrej Palat? Finally, can Rick Nash wake up in the playoffs? Either way, as mentioned before, it will be epic and marginal.

Prediction: Rangers in 7

Western Conference

Anaheim Ducks vs. Chicago Blackhawks

This one is a matchup of the size and strength of the Ducks against the speed and skill of the Blackhawks. For the third straight year, the Blackhawks are in the conference final having won in 2013 and eventually winning the Cup, but losing to the Los Angeles Kings last year in Game 7 at home.

Chicago won two of the three meetings in the regular season. To me, this one will also be epic. It will almost be a mix of U.S. and Canada with stars such as Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Jonathan Toews, Duncan Keith, Patrick Kane and Brent Seabrook. 

Both goalies in Corey Crawford and Frederik Andersen have their issues, so one or two games might be out of hand. This is such a tough call, but I am going with size this time.

Prediction: Ducks in 7 

 

Photo Cred (NHL.com)

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