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NHL Second-Round Playoff Capsules

NHL Second-Round Playoff Capsules

NHL Second-Round Playoff Capsules
April 24, 2007

Associated Press

Capsules of NHL conference semifinal series:


No. 1 BUFFALO SABRES (53-22-7) vs. No. 6 NEW YORK RANGERS (42-30-10).

2006-07 series record: Buffalo 4-0 (three wins in overtime).

How they got here: Buffalo defeated No. 8 New York Islanders 4-1. New York defeated No. 3 Atlanta 4-0. Playoff History: Buffalo 1-0. Last meeting: Buffalo 2-1 in 1978 preliminary series.

BUFFALO: Sabres and Rangers haven't met since Dec. 1 when Buffalo finished season sweep. ... Sabres are first team to play New York's Islanders and Rangers in playoffs since 1987 Philadelphia Flyers, who reached Stanley Cup finals. ... Speedy, small forwards Chris Drury and Daniel Briere will need to show composure when Sean Avery agitates and tries to shake them off their games. Both thrived against Rangers in regular season before Avery's arrival. Drury posted team highs with five goals and seven points. Briere had three goals and three assists. Both had five points, along with Dainius Zubrus in first-round series against Islanders. Drury did it with four goals and an assist. Briere by scoring one goal and setting up four others. Zubrus had four assists. ... Ryan Miller stopped 80 of 89 shots in beating New York three times. ...

NEW YORK: Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr led New York with eight points against Buffalo this season, including seven assists. Martin Straka scored four goals and matched Michael Nylander with seven points. ... Jagr leads active players with 92 career points against Buffalo, 39 goals and 53 assists in 69 games. ... Henrik Lundqvist made only one start in season series, allowing three goals on 31 shots in overtime loss on Nov. 26. ... Nylander had a team-high eight points in first round, including four goals and a Game 3 hat trick. ... The Rangers earned just their third best-of-seven series sweep in team history, tied with Toronto for the fewest among Original Six teams. New York reached the Stanley Cup finals the two previous times, falling to Boston in 1972 and defeating Vancouver in 1994. ... Rangers face NHL points champion for first time since being swept in first round against Philadelphia in 1985.

OUTLOOK: Buffalo gets tougher test in second stop of in-state tournament but returns to conference finals for second straight year. Sabres in 7.

No. 2 NEW JERSEY DEVILS (49-24-9) vs. No. 4 OTTAWA SENATORS (48-25-9).

2006-07 series record: New Jersey 3-1 (one win in overtime).

How they got here: New Jersey defeated No. 7 Tampa Bay 4-2. Ottawa defeated No. 5 Pittsburgh 4-1. Playoff History: Series tied 1-1. Last meeting: New Jersey 4-3 in 2003 conference finals.

NEW JERSEY: Martin Brodeur shook off surprising playoff struggles when he allowed three goals in each of the first four games against the Lightning, losing twice. He rebounded by giving up a total of two in the final two games to help the Devils win the series. ... Zach Parise, who led the Devils in his second season with 31 goals, powered their offense in the first round with an NHL-best six goals. Brian Gionta was right behind with five. Playmaking center Scott Gomez was tops with nine points, including seven assists, followed by defenseman Brian Rafalski and forward Patrik Elias with seven points each. ... Eleven players remain with New Jersey from team that eliminated Ottawa to reach Stanley Cup finals in 2003. ... New Jersey allowed 2.3 goals per game this season, third best in NHL. Ottawa had league's second-best offense with 3.5 goals a game. ... Devils' 2-1 shootout victory over Ottawa on April 3 was GM Lou Lamoriello's first as coach this season.

OTTAWA: Earned 8-1 win over Devils in first meeting of the season before losing three straight one-goal decisions to New Jersey. ... Bryan Murray leads remaining Eastern Conference coaches with 93 playoff games behind the bench. ... Senators will need to spread offense around as Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley deal with superior defensive forwards Sergei Brylin, Jay Pandolfo and John Madden. Alfredsson and Chris Kelly each chipped in three goals in first round against Pittsburgh. Alfredsson joined Dean McAmmond, Antoine Vermette and defenseman Tom Preissing with a team-high two goals in the season series with New Jersey. ... Ray Emery is again showing his mettle as a playoff-caliber goalie, stopping 100 of 110 Pittsburgh shots. Last year, he posted a 2.88 goals-against average in going 5-5 in the postseason. He had a 1.97 GAA in four games this season against New Jersey.

OUTLOOK: Lamoriello shows he was right to replace Claude Julien, but Murray pulls series out. Senators in 6.


No. 1 DETROIT RED WINGS (50-19-13) vs. No. 5 SAN JOSE SHARKS (51-26-5).

2006-07 series record: San Jose 3-1.

How they got here: Detroit defeated No. 8 Calgary 4-2. San Jose defeated No. 4 Nashville 4-1. Playoff History: Series tied 1-1. Last meeting: Detroit 4-0 in 1995 conference semifinals.

DETROIT: The Red Wings advanced to second round for only the second time in four seasons despite being the top seed in the West three times. ... 45-year-old defenseman Chris Chelios is in line to pass Mark Messier in Game 3 for second place on the career playoff games list (237). Patrick Roy holds the mark at 247. Chelios is seventh on the postseason scoring list with 140 points (39 goals, 101 assists), 14 more than teammate Nicklas Lidstrom. Chelios scored a short-handed goal in the Game 5 win over Calgary. ... Lidstrom had a team-high eight points in the opening round, including six assists. ... Dominik Hasek posted a sparkling 1.57 goals-against average, yielding 10 goals on 129 Calgary shots. ... The Red Wings scored three of their four game-winning goals in the first round during power plays. ...

SAN JOSE: Sharks became first No. 8 seed to eliminate a No. 1 in this format when they ousted the Red Wings in seven games in 1994. ... Captain Patrick Marleau, who scored three goals in the first round -- including a game-winner -- led San Jose with four goals in four games against Detroit in the regular season. Joe Thornton posted six assists. ... The Sharks' 9-4 home win over Detroit on Jan. 4 featured a comeback from a 3-0 deficit that included a team-record six power-play goals, the most ever allowed by the Red Wings. Hasek allowed eight goals, the first time he gave up more than five in seven years -- the first series victory in franchise history. ... Evgeni Nabokov stopped 120 of 133 Nashville shots as the Sharks eliminated the Predators in the first round for the second straight year. He came in with a 2.14 career GAA in the playoffs in 35 games over five years.

OUTLOOK: Red Wings finally survive first round only to lose in second. Sharks in 6.

No. 2 ANAHEIM DUCKS (48-20-14) vs. No. 3 VANCOUVER CANUCKS (49-26-7).

2006-07 series record: Anaheim 3-0-1.

How they got here: Anaheim defeated No. 7 Minnesota 4-1. Vancouver defeated No. 6 Dallas 4-3. Playoff History: First meeting.

ANAHEIM: Should be able to take advantage of tired Canucks, who will play Game 1 on Wednesday less than 48 hours after eliminating Dallas in seven games. ... Anaheim will rely on top defensemen Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer. The pair combined for nine points in the first round and helped goalie tandem of Ilya Bryzgalov and Jean-Sebastien Giguere yield only nine goals in five games. Pronger led with six points -- two goals and four assists -- and Niedermayer set up three goals. They both had an even plus-minus rating. Pronger logged an average of 28 minutes, 27 seconds of ice time; Niedermayer 27:32. ... Giguere made his first start in eight games and made 26 saves to help the Ducks win Game 5 against Minnesota 4-1. Bryzgalov posted a 2.09 GAA in the first four games, allowing eight goals on 113 shots. ... Andy McDonald and Ryan Getzlaf each had a team-high three goals against Vancouver in the regular season. Teemu Selanne led with six points, including two goals.

VANCOUVER: Identical twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin join Anaheim's Niedermayer brothers (Scott and Rob) as the first pairs of siblings since 1986 to face off against each other in the playoffs when Anton and Peter Stastny (Quebec) played Hartford's Dave and Wayne Babych. ... The Canucks led the Stars for 45:55 (9 percent) of the first-round series that featured 512:15 of playing time -- including nearly five overtimes in the opener -- according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... The Sedins scored three of the Canucks' 13 goals in the first-round series. ... Roberto Luongo, in his first postseason appearance, outlasted Dallas' Marty Turco with a 1.41 GAA in the seven games. He allowed 12 goals in the series on 240 shots, but only eight in the final six contests after a 72-save effort in the 4 OT opener.

OUTLOOK: Giggy and Anaheim looking like 2003 Cup finalists. Ducks in 6.

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