|NHL Playoff Preview Capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 23 April 2008 12:56|
No. 1 MONTREAL CANADIENS (47-25-10) vs. No. 6 PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (42-29-11).
2007-08 series record: Montreal 4-0.
How they got here: Montreal defeated No. 8 Boston 4-3. Philadelphia defeated No. 3 Washington 4-3.
Playoff History: Montreal 3-1. Last meeting: Montreal 4-2 in 1989 conference finals.
rs to earn four wins in his first playoff series. ... Captain Saku Koivu returned from a nine-game absence due to a broken left foot and had two assists in Game 6 while centering Chris Higgins and Sergei Kostitsyn. ... Outscored Flyers 15-6 during season-series sweep. ... The last time these teams met in the postseason, the Canadiens were led on the ice by current coach Guy Carbonneau and general manager Bob Gainey.
PHILADELPHIA: Danny Briere won over Philly fans in his Flyers playoff debut by posting an NHL-best six goals and 11 points in the series win over Washington. He scored four of Philadelphia's eight power-play goals in the set. ... The Flyers were second to Montreal with 84 power-play goals in regular season and 21.8 percentage. Went 8-for-36 against Capitals after a 3-for-22 start in the first four games. ... RW Mike Knuble, the Flyers' fourth-leading scorer in the regular season and first round of the playoffs, is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury sustained in the Game 5 loss to Washington. Knuble had two goals and three assists in five games against the Capitals. ... Vaclav Prospal scored four goals in four games against Canadiens this season, all with Tampa Bay before being traded to Philadelphia. ... Three Flyers have won Stanley Cup titles: Knuble, Jim Dowd, and Derian Hatcher.
OUTLOOK: Montreal masters Flyers in playoffs again - barely. Canadiens in 7.
No. 2 PITTSBURGH PENGUINS (47-27-8) vs. No. 5 NEW YORK RANGERS (42-27-13).
2007-08 series record: New York 5-3 (two wins in overtime).
How they got here: Pittsburgh defeated No. 7 Ottawa 4-0. New York defeated No. 4 New Jersey 4-1.
Playoff History: Pittsburgh 3-0. Last meeting: Pittsburgh 4-1 in 1996 conference semifinals.
PITTSBURGH: Sidney Crosby was held to one goal by New York in seven games but had seven assists for a team-best eight points. Evgeni Malkin had five goals and two assists. ... Mario Lemieux and current Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr combined for 19 points in Penguins' last playoff meeting with New York. ... Jagr is second only to Lemieux on Penguins' career lists with 806 games played, 439 goals, 640 assists, and 1,079 points from 1990-2001. He is first with 78 game-winning goals. ... Pittsburgh lost all four games at Madison Square Garden this season and hasn't won there since March 1, 2007. ... C Jordan Staal can expect time on the ice against brother Marc, a Rangers defenseman.
ent 8-1 in first-round games over past two seasons. ... New York will have had six days off since eliminating Devils last Friday. Penguins will be coming off eight-day break. ... Three of the Rangers' four power-play goals against Devils in first round put them in front. The other forged a tie.
OUTLOOK: Drury and Gomez carry New York to first conference finals appearance since 1997. Rangers in 6.
No. 1 DETROIT RED WINGS (54-21-7) vs. No. 6 COLORADO AVALANCHE (44-31-7).
2007-08 series record: Detroit 4-0.
How they got here: Detroit defeated No. 8 Nashville 4-2. Colorado defeated No. 3 Minnesota 4-2.
Playoff History: Colorado 3-2. Last meeting: Detroit 4-3 in 2002 conference finals.
DETROIT: Red Wings earned shutout victories over Avalanche in each of the final three meetings this season, outscoring them 7-0. The shutout streak stands at 214 minutes, 4 seconds, dating to the second period of a game on Dec. 27 at Colorado. Dominik Hasek worked 154:04 of the streak, and Chris Osgood had the final shutout on Feb. 18. ... Detroit hasn't lost in regulation to Colorado in the past three seasons. ... Osgood replaced Hasek as the starting goalie in the first round and went 2-0 with a 0.39 goals-against average and a shutout in three games. He stopped 53 of 54 shots. Hasek was 2-2 with a 2.91 GAA. ... Before last season, Red Wings hadn't reached conference finals since their loss to Colorado six years ago. ... Only Dallas and Edmonton have matched the Red Wings and Avalanche in meeting six times in the playoffs since the 1995-96 season when the Avalanche moved to Denver.
COLORADO: Compared to Detroit D Chris Chelios, who at 46 is older than three coaches still working in the playoffs - including Red Wings coach Mike Babcock - Jeff Finger, Ben Guite, David Jones, Cody McLeod and Paul Stastny of the Avalanche made their playoff debuts in the series opener against Minnesota. ... Rookie Cody McLeod and Marek Svatos had the only goals against Detroit for the Avalanche, who were outscored 11-2. Svatos is out for the season due to a knee injury sustained in March. ... Jose Theodore and Peter Budaj both went 0-2 against Detroit. Theodore faced all the action against Minnesota in the first round, posting a 1.88 GAA. ... Avalanche haven't reached the conference since winning the Stanley Cup in 2001.
OUTLOOK: Colorado adds to Detroit's playoff disappointments. Avalanche in 6.
No. 2 SAN JOSE SHARKS (49-23-10) vs. No. 5 DALLAS STARS (45-30-7).
2007-08 series record: Dallas 4-2-2.
How they got here: San Jose defeated No. 7 Calgary 4-3. Dallas defeated No. 4 Anaheim 4-2.
Playoff History: Dallas 2-0. Last meeting: Dallas 4-1 in 2000 conference semifinals.
SAN JOSE: Joe Thornton tied rookie Devin Setoguchi for the team lead with four goals against the Stars in the regular season. Thornton had a club-best 10 points. No one else had more than five. ... Jeremy Roenick sparked the Sharks' Game 7 win over Calgary with a two-goal, two-assist performance. That gave him five goals and four assists in six career Game 7s. ... Evgeni Nabokov played all but 39 minutes against the Pacific Division-rival Stars, going 4-3 with a 2.56 goals-against average. He allowed 19 goals. Brian Boucher yielded four to Dallas in his one appearance.
DALLAS: Stars outscored Sharks 24-21 during regular season. Dallas held a 31-19 goals edge in its two playoff victories over San Jose, losing only three of 11 games. Mike Modano scored seven goals and 11 points in those games. Injured D Sergei Zubov had 10 points (2 goals, 8 assists) in those series. Zubov, out since January, returned to practice Wednesday and said he felt good. He could return to action in this series that begins Friday. ... Marty Turco had a strong first-round series in posting a 2.01 GAA, allowing 12 goals in the series against defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim. He played in all eight regular-season meetings with San Jose, going 4-2 with a 2.47 GAA.
OUTLOOK: San Jose starts to roll after first-round scare. Sharks in 6.