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Mix’s Picks: Friday's Stanley Cup Playoffs Primer

by Rob Mixer / Columbus Blue Jackets
The second night of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw lots of bonus hockey as three of the four games on the night went to overtime. San Jose won in double OT at St. Louis, while Phoenix and Boston used home ice to earn their victories. The only regulation win was earned by the Eastern Conference's top seed - NY Rangers. Three series resume tonight for game 2's and...

I’m back for one more prediction, Florida hosts New Jersey in game 1 of their series and the breakdown is below:


Let’s get started with Mix’s Picks for tonight’s opening-round series:

WHERE: BankAtlantic Center | Sunrise, FLA
WHEN: 7:00 p.m., NHL Network (HD)

MIXER’S TAKE:: The Florida Panthers aren’t getting enough credit, if you ask me. The consensus appears to be that they don’t stand much of a chance in the playoffs, and some think their first-round matchup with the battle-tested New Jersey Devils could be a short one. But I don’t see it that way; the Panthers did not stumble into the Southeast Division title and aren’t in the playoffs on dumb luck – they’re a solid team that plays a good five-man game and can stifle opponents defensively. They come to compete every night, a characteristic of head coach Kevin Dineen throughout his long NHL career.

On the other side, the Devils are anything but a No. 6 seed. They’re loaded for bear up front with Ilya Kovalchuk, Zach Parise, rookie sensation Adam Henrique and veteran Patrik Elias all having productive seasons. Their defense is underrated and led by Anton Volchenkov, Henrik Tallinder, and a cast of non-household names. The equalizer is in goal: 40-year-old Martin Brodeur is back in the playoffs after a one-year hiatus and it’s a better tournament with this guy involved.

PREDICTIONS: Devils in six games - check out Bill and Bob's selections below.

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