Hockey has long been considered to have the most intense postseason of any professional sport, and the first round of this year’s NHL Playoffs only further enhanced that reputation. After four of the eight first-round clashes required seven games to decide a winner, the second round figures to be even more competitive. A pair of “Original Six” matchups highlights the Conference Semifinals, as squads continue to fight to stay alive in the hunt for a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals. Check out the preview of the upcoming second-round matchups below, and take advantage of your chance to witness the action live by purchasing NHL Playoff tickets from Vivid Seats today.
No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 7 Ottawa Senators
The familiarity between these two teams should lead to a very entertaining showdown, as this series will mark the fourth postseason matchup between the teams since 2007. After winning a shockingly dominant five-game series against the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, Ottawa now turns its attention to seeking revenge against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who have defeated the Senators in three consecutive postseason showdowns.
Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. – (Game 1: May 14; Game 2: May 17; Game 5: May 24; Game 7: May 28)
Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, Ontario – (Game 3: May 19; Game 4: May 22; Game 6: May 26)
No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 6 New York Rangers
No team in the NHL is hotter than the Boston Bruins, who had to pull off a brilliant come-from-behind victory just to advance. Trailing the Toronto Maple Leafs by two goals with just over a minute remaining, the Bruins miraculously tied the game in regulation before eventually winning in overtime. The Bruins’ second-round opponent and fellow Original Six member, the New York Rangers, also won their series in seven games, but are coming off of a much more comfortable victory after disposing of Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals, 5-0, in the deciding game.
TD Garden in Boston, Mass. – (Game 1: May 16; Game 2: May 19; Game 5: May 25; Game 7: May 29)
Madison Square Garden in New York, N.Y. – (Game 3: May 21; Game 4: May 23; Game 6: May 27)
No. 1 Chicago Blackhawks vs. No. 7 Detroit Red Wings
These Original Six rivals have a long and storied history of playoff battles, the most recent of which occurred in 2009, when the Detroit Red Wings topped the young Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Finals. Although the Blackhawks swept the four regular-season games between the two teams, three of the victories required overtime, and the Red Wings are flying high after pulling off an improbable first-round upset over the No. 2-seeded Anaheim Ducks.
United Center in Chicago, Ill. – (Game 1: May 15; Game 2: May 18; Game 5: May 25; Game 7: May 29)
Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich. – (Game 3: May 20; Game 4: May 23; Game 6: May 27)
No. 5 Los Angeles Kings vs. No. 6 San Jose Sharks
As reigning Stanley Cup champions, the Los Angeles Kings have not lost a playoff series since 2011. That loss came at the hands of their current second-round opponent, the San Jose Sharks. While the Sharks dismantled the Vancouver Canucks in a four-game sweep, the Kings had a much more difficult battle, needing six games to defeat the St. Louis Blues, and none of the games were decided by more than a goal. This clash on the West Coast figures to be an even matchup, as the teams split the four regular-season games.
Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif. – (Game 1: May 14; Game 2: May 16; Game 5: May 23; Game 7: May 28)
HP Pavilion at San Jose in San Jose, Calif. – (Game 3: May 18; Game 4: May 21; Game 6: May 26)