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2013 Eastern Conference first-round matchups are set

Apr 28, 2013, 10:04 PM EDT

Toronto Maple Leafs v Boston Bruins Getty Images

Saturday presented the first round matchups for the Western Conference’s side of the 2013 playoffs. Eastern Conference fans had to wait an extra night to see how the Ottawa Senators’ eventual 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins might juggle the seeding, but now we know which teams will face off in the quarterfinals:

1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. 8) New York Islanders

Casual fans might look at this as an easy win for Pittsburgh, yet the Islanders have finished this season on an absolute tear and the Pens have dealt with an array of injuries that might cause some challenges. The two teams haven’t met in the postseason since the Isles upset the two-time defending champions 4-3 in the second round of the 1993 playoffs.

2) Montreal Canadiens vs. 7) Ottawa Senators

The Canadiens haven’t faced the modern version of the Senators in the postseason before. Still, the two teams shouldn’t need any time to generate ire for each other thanks to their regular meetings as Northeast Division foes. Oh yeah, that Canadian thing might factor into the hype just a touch, too …

3) Washington Capitals vs. 6) New York Rangers

These teams are about as familiar with each other as two East playoff teams can get. This is the third straight year these two squads will play in a seven-game series, but at least the Capitals insist on shaking things up by changing their coaches each time (2013’s contestant: Adam Oates).

4) Boston Bruins vs. 5) Toronto Maple Leafs

Recent history might be more interesting in this series than the stuff that goes way back. Do you weigh the Bruins wobbly finish (2-5-2 in their last nine) or their dominant days against the Leafs in the playoffs (Toronto has dropped 12 of its last 13 postseason games against Boston, according to The Score TV) more heavily? Most Buds fans are still trying to get over the “We finally made the playoffs after nine years” thing, though.

  1. cameltoews - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:18 PM

    Here we go!

  2. icelovinbrotha215 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Just looking forward to some playoff hockey. It’s wide open this year. The exact opposite of the NBA playoffs where only 3-4 teams have a realistic chance of winning all the marbles.

    • ravenscaps48 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      PREACH!

    • mordock57 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:25 AM

      I love playoff hockey, but I can’t agree with you here. This is NOT a wide open season. Frankly, if Pittsburgh, Chicago or perhaps Anaheim don’t win the Cup it’d be a pretty big shock. Those three teams are EASILY the front runners.

    • babykaby - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      If Pitt doesn’t win with all that talent, maybe they should get a new coach or bust up the team. They should have won last year.

  3. ludacrish05 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    Oates and the caps know how to take them down

  4. ryanw822 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Pens in 4
    Ottawa in 7
    Caps in 6
    Bruins in 5

  5. yondo123 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:39 PM

    Pitt
    Boston
    Rangers
    Ottawa

    Lets go Rangers

  6. ravenscaps48 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:41 PM

    Isles in 7
    Habs in 7
    Caps in 6
    Leafs in 7

    LETS GO CAPS

  7. modellforprez - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    Pens in 6 no doubt with out a doubt

  8. philly4lyfe - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM

    betting it all on the isles in the 1st rnd.

  9. dumbassgreg - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:58 PM

    see a bunch of average flawed teams and pittsburgh. gotta love parity. lmao if pittsburgh goalies tank then they are with everyone else. same in west chicago clearly the most talented team unless goalies tank or toews or kane gets hurt. pittsburgh has shown they can win without crosby,letang,malkin,neal etc.

    • 19to77 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:57 PM

      Man, you ARE a dumbass. Every team in the Eastern picture is great.

      • mordock57 - Apr 29, 2013 at 3:28 AM

        Take a look at the Pens record against the other three top seeds. Take a look at their overall conference record this season. Definitely take a look at their overall plus/minus and goals for and against. The Pens are the cream this season. Now, does that equal an automatic win? Of course not… but they ARE easily the team to beat.

      • babykaby - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:44 AM

        I hate Pitt, but they have way too much talent, even without the god Crosby.

  10. dumbassgreg - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    i will be watching western games much more interesting then these matchups.

    • imleftcoast - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:25 PM

      These are all going to exciting series. There is a lot of animosity, and even if it takes a couple games to get going, these are going to all be worth watching. I haven’t cared much since the lockout ended, but this is going to be good hockey.

  11. jimw81 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Isles in 7
    Sens in 7
    Rags in 4
    Bruins in 7

    • chanceoffleury1 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      You’re a fan of the underdog, eh? Or maybe just a Bruins fan?

      • jimw81 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:19 AM

        flyers fan. i am just seeing it through the dynamics the playoff teams are playing into the playoffs. Take MTl and boston for example, they started the season hot and now they are stumbling into the playoffs. Isles playing excellent hockey on both sides of the red line and have a grit that can cause trouble for pens. capitals will never get my respect because they play in the worst division hockey and Mike Green disgraced the norris trophy. you can make a case that only two teams that been consistent hockey is isles and rangers.

      • jimw81 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:24 AM

        my Stanley cup finals in ducks vs rangers with ducks winning it in 7 games. people really dont talk about the ducks

      • babykaby - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:50 AM

        jimw81, Green never won the Norris. Obviously, you do not know what you are talking about. You might want to take some classes because what you wrote, besides being incorrect, doesn’t make sense.

  12. spavs412 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Isle pens could be a blood bath!! Remember the last couple of seasons between the 2?? Bench clearing brawls Ricky D getting knocked out by Johnson lol could get ugly for sure!!

  13. ludacrish05 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:39 PM

    Jimw18 is on crack

  14. 19to77 - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Damn. Lost the Leafs-Habs matchup after all. Not gonna lie, that one hurts a little. Was reeeeeally pulling for it. Love the continuing Caps-Rangers rivalry though, and Pens-Isles is going to be absolutely wild.

  15. dcent87 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    The penguins have a shot to make it out of the first round this year!

  16. dumbassgreg - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    little gary is thrilled no toronto montreal. trying to find a way though for neither montreal or ottawa to make it too round two. lmao . little gary and nbc will do dance of joy once canadian teams are gone . lmao

  17. sjsharks66 - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    Pens 6
    Habs 5
    Boston 7
    Caps 7

  18. capsfan19 - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    Jimw81 sooo you’re saying because you dont like the caps (green never won the norris…) that you think they’ll swept? Unless holtby poops the bed will we get swept. He’s going to get into ninja mode again. It’ll be another exciting goalie matchup. So congrats on your biased analysis.
    I want to believe that we can bounce the rangers. Rangers dont scare me as much as they did last year for some reason tho.
    Of course they’ll be playing their top d line with ovi on the ice so our 2nd and 3rd lines need to keep up constant pressure. Oh yea… And for lundy: shoot high glove side.

  19. ironmike778 - Apr 29, 2013 at 6:46 AM

    No Flyers. Man what a beautiful sight that is!

  20. ludacrish05 - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Jimw81, just keep eating your cheesesteak and shut your mouth

    Sincerely,
    caps fans

  21. ducksk - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    Looks like no cup in Canada again. 17 years?

  22. dcdiehard82 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    LETS GO CAPS!!!

  23. mgp1219 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Let’s skip to the SC finals…

    Washington/Chicago

    Chicago in 7

    • imleftcoast - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:28 PM

      Chicago is a strong favorite. Have to think it’s Pittsburg or maybe Ottawa as a sleeper picker.

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