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Blue Jackets’ win sets Eastern Conference first-round matchups

Apr 12, 2014, 9:55 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

While home-ice advantage between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Montreal Canadiens needs to be determined (this post will be updated accordingly), we know all four first-round matchups for the Eastern Conference in the 2014 playoffs.

Here they are, with a quick note or two (home-ice listed first, if already determined).

Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings

The Bruins won the 2014 Presidents’ Trophy, yet the Red Wings could present serious competition, and not just because of their name recognition. Detroit took three of the two teams’ four games in the season series and overcame serious injury issues to get this far. They also tend to satisfy fans of “fancy stats” with their competitive possession numbers.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

With the Blue Jackets victorious on Saturday, they clinch this series. The NHL had to hope something like this would happen, as the Penguins present at least the potential for a solid regional rivalry with the Blue Jackets (relatively speaking). Of course, the Penguins’ three Stanley Cups tower over the Blue Jackets franchise’s zero playoff wins, but all that matters is who wins the best-of-seven series …

Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Seeding to be determined, as the Montreal Canadiens’ overtime win against the New York Rangers keeps seeding open here. The Lightning won three of the teams’ four games in the season series, for whatever that’s worth.

New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers

Will the New York Rangers’ recent dominance at Madison Square Garden tilt things in their favor? Who will prevail in a goalie match between the established (Henrik Lundqvist) and the openly questioned (Steve Mason)? Can Martin St. Louis get it together? There are almost endless storylines in this one.

Feel free to weigh in regarding the series you expect to be most exciting, the host teams most vulnerable to upsets and all sorts of other fun factors.

  1. cjnbsc - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:02 PM


    • billiam55 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:54 PM


  2. nysportsrule - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    I didn’t know zetterberg was an established goalie!

  3. flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    Haven’t the pens only won 3 cups not 4?

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      Dosn’t the city of Philidelphia have1 championships in the past 30 years?

      • canucks30 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:45 PM

      • canucks30 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:01 PM

        On the other hand,

    • flyerspsu - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:59 PM

      I was just pointing out the error that it was the lesser number of 3, not saying how 3 is a small amount

  4. pitpenguinsrulez - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:05 PM

    I thought we had only three Stanley Cup victories? If the Pens lose to the Jackets I seriously wouldn’t know what to say/do. Detroit could push Boston to seven games. Im still going with Boston in that one. Rest NYR over Philly and Montreal over Tampa. However Bettman & NBC would cream themselves if they got Pens/Flyers & Bruins/Canadiens in Round 2.

  5. dropthepuckeh - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Congrats on the Prez trophy, here’s the Red Wings. Ouch.

  6. flyboystransport - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:07 PM

    Not the draw I think the flyers would’ve prefered but not unbeatable

  7. iceman8383 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Lets Go Rangers!!!

  8. sixchr - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    It’s a tough draw for the Bruins but I think everyone expected something like this when the Red Wings moved into the Atlantic Division. Should be a great series of a hockey and it’s gonna be a tough one but I think the Bruins will still pull it out. Otherwise I like the Penguins, Rangers, and Canadiens. If Boston is gonna do it this year the road sure as hell won’t be easy at any point that’s for sure.

  9. rushledger - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    We only won 3 bro, fix that typo.

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      We? I didn’t know Ron Francis was on Prohockeytalk

      • cheesesteak75 - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:38 AM

        Ron Francis was only on the team for 2.

  10. canucks30 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:38 PM

    Go Leafs Go…

    Oh wait.

  11. Stiller43 - Apr 12, 2014 at 10:52 PM

    “Of course, the Penguins’ four Stanley Cups tower over the Blue Jackets franchise’s zero playoff wins, but all that matters is who wins the best-of-seven series …”

    I appreciate the extra cup, but my pens have 3

    • danglesnipecelly88 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      You own the Pens?

    • James O'Brien - Apr 13, 2014 at 2:16 AM

      Cups fixed to three, thanks folks.

  12. canucks30 - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    The Flyers and Penguins are natural enemies.

    Just like Englishmen and Scots.

  13. orangandblack - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Can’t wait!

  14. LampyB - Apr 12, 2014 at 11:29 PM

    I cant believe no one has mentioned St. Louis vs Tampa. What huge implications with this matchup! We’ll soon find out whether it was a justified trade, this is an awesome matchup!!

  15. rushledger - Apr 13, 2014 at 1:42 AM

    Maybe I do maybe I don’t, but you gotta admit if players or owners did chat on here it be hilarious.

  16. President Charles Logan - Apr 13, 2014 at 3:00 AM

    I sure hope the S.C Finals dont wind up being Boston vs Anaheim

    • nunan - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Why? That would be an incredible match-up.

  17. nunan - Apr 13, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    Tough road for the Bs. If they get by round one, they could end up playing MTL in round two. They should win both those series but it represents the toughest potential path to the ECF.

  18. bp - Apr 13, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Second round match ups of PHI vs PIT and BOS vs MTL would be incredible.

  19. chrisk61 - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    pens got the easiest series in the whole first rd, east and west.

    unless bobrovsky stands on his head like fleury USED TO and fleury is his usual terrible self.

  20. the8man - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    The Wings! Ugh! Yeah, not your typical 8 seed for sure. That is going to be a tough series. And the Original 6 feel will make it even more compelling. No point in projecting second round matchups with so much potential for “upsets”.

    Someone already said it, “Congratulations Boston on the best record. Now go play Detroit in the opening round.” Yeah…..about that….

    Go Bs!

  21. nunan - Apr 13, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    I am actually really looking forward to one aspect of this series – Bergeron vs Datsyuk, whether that happens directly, with them facing each other, or them just being a part of the same series but not on the ice at the same time.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kessel (1938)
  2. P. Kane (1467)
  3. P. Datsyuk (1362)
  4. M. Richards (1220)
  5. M. Giordano (1194)