This matchup is not set in stone, as the Senators have a chance to earn the seventh seed with a win Sunday night. However, if this is the matchup, this is an absolute cakewalk for the Penguins.The Penguins, who have the best offense and second best penalty kill in the league, are simply better than the Sens. They are 3 0 against the Senators this year and have almost 20 more points. The Senators have been decimated by injuries all year, and while the fact that they’re in the playoffs is a nice story, they just don’t have the firepower to hang with Pittsburgh.This series could be over very quickly. If it’s not a sweep, then the Penguins will win in five.Montreal Canadiens vs. New York IslandersThese are two of the surprise teams in the NHL, as not many expected them to make the playoffs.This is another matchup not set in stone, because if the Senators win Sunday night, then they will be in hockey jerseys form china
the seventh seed. However, if the Boston Bruins win on Sunday, then they will be the second seed, not Montreal.But if this is the matchup, it will be fun to watch. The Islanders are a young, exciting team that should be good for the next few years. The Canadiens have more experience and veteran leadership.That said, the Islanders have beaten the Canadiens twice in three games this season. The Canadiens will have to find a way to stop John Tavares, who has 28 goals this season.Still, the Canadiens have more leadership and better goaltending and defense, and they should win this series in six.Washington Capitals vs. New York RangersThe Rangers and Capitals are two of the hottest teams in hockey. The Caps are 11 1 1 in April, while the Rangers are 10 3 1 in this month. The Rangers own the season matchup, with a record of 2 0 1.The Rangers will need to find a way to stop the Capitals’ top ranked power play in the league. That might be a tall order, seeing as they have just the 15th ranked penalty kill in the league. However, the Rangers do have a better goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist and a much better defense overall. If their defense can stand tall, then the Rangers will win.It will be a fantastic series that will probably go seven games. Look for the Rangers to eke out a hard fought series win.Boston Bruins vs. Toronto Maple LeafsWith a win on Sunday, the Bruins could earn the second seed, which would mean the Canadiens would play the Maple Leafs. If they Bruins do not win, however, they will find a tough foe in the Maple Leafs.The Leafs have defied expectations this year and have brought playoff hockey back to a hockey crazed city.But the Bruins have had good success against the Leafs this season and are 3 1 against Toronto. They should win this series pretty easily. They have a much better goalie, inTuukka Rask and have much more experience and scoring depth. James Reimer, the Maple Leafs’ goalie, is good, but Rask is having an outstanding season. The better goalie usually wins out.Look for the B’s to win this series in five.Chicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota WildThe Blackhawks have won the Presidents’ Trophy with the best record in the league. They have been a powerhouse all season.The Wild have had to scratch and claw their way into the postseason, despite the high priced acquisitions of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the offseason.Chicago is 2 0 1 against the Wild this season and has 22 more points. Quite simply, it is a much better team. Look for Chicago to win this in five, and the series as a whole won’t be too competitive.