The NHL starts its postseason on Wednesday. There are a number of good first round matchups to follow. The following is a brief overview of the 4 matchups in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit Red Wings vs. Boston Bruins
Boston had the best record in the NHL with 117 points, with 54 wins. Detroit won 38 games and recorded 91 points.
This season Detroit won three of the four head to head games with Boston. The UNDER was 2-2-1. Detroit lost a 3-1 series lead to Chicago last year in the playoffs. Boston reached the Stanley Cup Finals but lost to Chicago in six games.
Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Pittsburgh was second in the East with 108 points on 51 wins. Columbus had 93 points on 43 wins. This season the Penguins swept the five games the teams played head to head. In three of the five games, Columbus recorded one goal or was shutout. The UNDER was 3-2.
This is just the second time Columbus has reached the postseason in the history of the franchise. Pittsburgh won the first and second round series last year in the postseason, but lost to Boston in the Conference Finals.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Rangers
The New York Rangers finished the season with 45 wins and 96 points, while Philadelphia had 42 wins for 93 points.
This season the teams split four games. The home team won in each of the four games. In the four games, the UNDER was 2-1-1, while the team that lost each game scored two or fewer goals in each of the four games.
Philadelphia was last in the playoffs in 2012 and lost in the second round to the New Jersey Devils. New York won the first round in last season’s playoffs against Washington, but was knocked out in the second round by Boston.
New York and Philadelphia have not met in the postseason since 1997, when Philadelphia defeated the Rangers in the Eastern Conference finals in five games.
Montreal Canadians vs. Tampa Lightning
The Tampa Bay Lightning finished the season with 46 wins and 101 points, while Montreal had 46 wins and 100 points.
During the regular season, Tampa Bay won three of the four head to head games versus the Canadians. All of the four games finished UNDER in the goal total, while three ended up with the score of 2-1.
This is the first time in 2 seasons Tampa Bay is back in the postseason. In their last playoff appearance, the Lightning lost in seven games to Boston in the finals of the Eastern Conference.
Montreal in its last playoff experience was knocked out in the first round in five games versus the Ottawa Senators last season. The only time these two teams have met in the postseason, was in 2004 when Montreal swept the Lightning in the second round.
For more trends, odds, and point spreads for these four matchups visit Bovada, betonline, topbet and sportsbook.com.