The first round of the NHL playoffs is complete and four of the Original Six teams are still alive and facing off in two separate series.
In the Western Conference, the Chicago Blackhawks will be taking on the Detroit Red Wings. The Blackhawks disposed of Minnesota in 5 games while the Red Wings upset the Anaheim Ducks in 7.
Also in the West will be a California-based series as the San Jose Sharks look to knockout the defending champion Los Angeles Kings.
The Eastern Conference will see a brewing rivalry take on new meaning as the Pittsburgh Penguins will go up against the Ottawa Senators, the lone Canadian team still in the playoffs. Earlier this season Penguins pest Matt Cooke injured Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson on a questionable hit but Karlsson is back and the Sens can best get their revenge by winning this series and not chasing Cooke around the ice.
The other East series is also the other Original Six matchup as Boston and New York will compete to reach the Conference Finals.
The Bruins saved their season in dramatic fashion. Trailing Toronto 4-1 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third period of Game 7, the Bruins scored three times, including the game tying goal in the final minute to force overtime where they put the Leafs away, both goals being scored by Patrice Bergeron.
The Rangers also won a Game 7 to reach this series. Playing on the road in Washington, the Rangers took the play to the Caps and Henrik Lundqvist posted his second consecutive shutout as the Rangers won the game by a score of 5-0.
The series between the Bruins and Rangers is the first time they’ve met in the post-season since 1973.
Here is the schedule*:
Game 1 Thursday May 16 7:30PM @ Boston
Game 2 Thursday May 19 3:00PM @ Boston
Game 3 Thursday May 21 7:30PM @ New York
Game 4 Thursday May 23 7:00PM @ New York
Game 5 Thursday May 25 TBD @ Boston (if necessary)
Game 6 Thursday May 27 TBD @ New York (if necessary)
Game 7 Thursday May 29 TBD @ Boston (if necessary)
*Schedule is subject to change.
Now is the time to secure tickets to these Rangers playoff games as the excitement generated by their 7th game victory has fans pumped up for Round 2.