#1 Washington Capitals vs. #8 Montreal Canadians

The Caps come into the playoffs as the overwhelming favorite in the East.  They are a scoring machine that bullies everyone around.  The +85 goal differential that they had this year, is one of the biggest in recent memories.  Alexander Ovechkin is by far the most dominating force on the ice today.  No disrespect to Mr. Crosby, but “Ovie” is a 6-foot 3-inch 240 lb freight train.  Mark my words, he will put someone’s lights out this post-season.  Canadians net-minder Jaroslav Halak is the Canadians only chance to take this series.  He needs to channel his inner 1985-86 Patrick Roy, and take over the series.  Too bad he won’t.  Caps in 5

#2 New Jersey Devils versus #7 Philadelphia Flyers

The Flyers needed a inept Rangers coach and some luck to grab a playoff spot on the final day of the season.  Rangers coach John Tortarella inexplicably left top scorer Marian Gaborik, out of the shootout that had a playoff berth on the line.  Needless to say, that didn’t go over too well.  So here are the Flyers who limped into the playoffs, going up against arguably the greatest goalie in NHL History.  Marty Brodeur had a shaky Olympics, but was very strong down the stretch.  I think that the Devils acquisition of Russian sniper Ilya Kovalchuk, is going to pay off tremendously on their power play.  Devils in 6

#3 Buffalo Sabres versus #6 Boston Bruins

This series features the 2 best goalies in the league this year.  Bruins Goalie Tuukka Rask,  led the league in goals against average (1.97 GAA) and save percentage (.931). USA Olympic goalie Ryan Miller was second in both categories with a 2.22 GAA and .929 save %.  The Bruins don’t pack much offensive punch, so they’ll be riding Rask as long as he’ll take them.  Getting 3 goals out of this team is like trying to draw blood from a stone.   I like the Sabres in this series because they have the ability to get some goal scoring from the wingers.  Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek scored 52 goals between them this year.  Sabres in 6

#4 Pittsburgh Penguins versus #5 Ottawa Senators:

For the Pens to win this series, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin will need to shoulder the load again due to goalie Marc-Andre Fleury not being on the top of his game for most of the season.  The Senators can match-up pretty well with the Pens, but the Loss of scorer Alexi Kovalev will definitely hurt.  The Sens have been a very streaky team this year and will need a good streak to win this series.  An upset is possible here, but I do like the Penguins in a long series.  Pens in 7

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