With young teams like Chicago and Washington moving onto the semifinals, and perennial favorites like Detroit and San Jose going in opposite directions, it's time to examine the plays that shaped each series.
Here are the series-defining moments of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals as selected by NHL.com.
Western Conference Defining Moments
|BRUINS WIN SERIES, 4-0|
With the Original Six rivals matched up in the first round for the second consecutive postseason, Zdeno Chara set the course for the series in the opening game. As Marc Savard sat with the puck by the goal line on the right side of the Montreal net, he passed the puck back to Chara at the top of the face-off circle. Chara one-timed the puck past Carey Price for a power-play goal that broke a 2-2 tie with 8:45 to go in Game 1.
Chara's goal would give the Bruins the early advantage, as they rolled to a sweep of the Canadiens for their first playoff series win over the Habs in 15 years.
|HURRICANES WIN SERIES, 4-3|
Nearing the end of seven tough, evenly-matched games, the Devils appeared on their way to the second round, but Jussi Jokinen would stun the New Jersey crowd with a game-tying score late in the third period of Game 7. With both sides readying themselves for overtime, Eric Staal found an open patch of ice and flew up the right wing before putting a series-clinching shot past New Jersey's Martin Brodeur with just 32 seconds left.
Jokinen and Staal scored 48 seconds apart in the final 1:20 of Game 7, shocking the Devils and taking the Hurricanes to the second round with one of the most memorable comebacks in Stanley Cup history.
|PENGUINS WIN SERIES, 4-2|
After taking Game 1 at home, the Penguins held a tenuous 2-1 lead over the Flyers in the third period of Game 2. As Philadelphia rushed down the ice, Jeff Carter found himself with the puck and a wide-open Pittsburgh net. Carter shot the puck for what seemed a certain game-tying score, but Marc-Andre Fleury stretched his right leg for a remarkable pad save at the goal line, preserving the one-goal lead.
Fleury's save kept the Pens from taking a split at home. They would travel to Philadelphia with a 2-0 lead and ended up taking the series in six games.
|CAPITALS WIN SERIES, 4-3|
With Game 7 tied 1-1 late in the third period, Sergei Fedorov took the puck down the right side of the ice against New York's Wade Redden. After hitting the dot of the right face-off circle, Fedorov stopped, moved to his left and wristed a shot past Henrik Lundqvist with 4:59 to go.
The future Hall of Famer's game-winner sent the Capitals to the second round for the first time since their run to the Final in 1998, completing a remarkable first-round comeback as Washington rallied from a 3-1 deficit to top the Rangers.