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NHL Playoff Preview Capsules @NHLdotcom

Capsules of NHL second-round series:

BOSTON: The Bruins won a playoff series for the first time since knocking out the Hurricanes 10 years ago. ... David Krejci, Blake Wheeler and Michael Ryder, each had team-high three goals in regular-season series vs. Carolina. Krejci was tops with seven points. ... Ryder and Phil Kessel both scored four goals in first round, and Vezina Trophy favorite Tim Thomas yielded only six goals on 111 shots in the four games vs. Montreal. ... Bruins will need to quickly regain sharpness after rare series victory. Boston eliminated Canadiens for only eighth time in 32 playoff series and will have been off for nine days when matchup against Carolina begins Friday. ... The power play clicked for four goals in first goals, and penalty-killers were perfect.

CAROLINA: Hurricanes finished season on 17-5-2 run after losing 5-1 to Boston on Feb. 17. ... Carolina will have to get refocused after stunning Game 7 win over New Jersey when the tying and winning goals were scored on Martin Brodeur 48 seconds apart in the final 1:20. ... Eric Staal, who scored winner and had three goals in last two games vs. New Jersey, failed to record a point against Boston in the regular season. Matt Cullen was tops with two goals vs. Bruins, and Ray Whitney finished first on the team with three points. ... Cam Ward allowed 13 goals to Bruins in four games, but has found his game. Ward gave up 15 goals to New Jersey in first round on 242 shots.

OUTLOOK: Boston shows again it deserved top seed. Bruins in 6.


WASHINGTON: Alex Ovechkin has already topped Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the rookie of the year award, earned two NHL goal titles, and is on the verge of outdoing Sid the Kid with a second MVP trophy. Now he is looking to win the first postseason matchup between the superstars. ... Ovechkin tied Alexander Semin with a team-high four goals vs. the Penguins. ... Jose Theodore went 3-0 against Pittsburgh during the season, but likely won't see much - if any - action in this series since he lost his job to 21-year-old rookie Simeon Varlamov during the first round. Theodore had a 2.70 goals-against average vs. the Penguins, but hasn't played since a season-opening 4-3 loss to the Rangers. Varlamov helped the Capitals erase the 3-1 series deficit to New York by stopping 138 of 145 shots in six games, including two shutouts and a 2-1 win in Game 7. ... Semin led with five goals and eight points in first round. Ovechkin was second with three goals and seven points. ... Capitals are in second round for first time since reaching 1998 Stanley Cup finals.

PITTSBURGH: Crosby had a team-high seven points against Capitals with seven points - including six assists. NHL scoring champion Evgeni Malkin was one of three players who scored two goals vs. Washington and then tied Crosby with four goals in first-round win over Philadelphia. Malkin added five assists vs. Flyers to post an NHL-leading nine points in the playoffs. ... Marc-Andre Fleury is rounding back into the form that helped him backstop the Penguins' run to last year's Stanley Cup finals. He had a 2.39 GAA in first round with a .922 save percentage. However, he went 1-3 with a 4.72 GAA in season series against high-powered Capitals.

OUTLOOK: Ovechkin gets best of Crosby and Malkin. Capitals in 7.


DETROIT: The defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings caught a break by avoiding the Ducks in the first round, but couldn't escape again. Detroit's usual advantage in postseason experience is somewhat nullified against Ducks, who eliminated Red Wings two years ago en route to championship. ... Red Wings had balanced scoring in first round against overmatched Blue Jackets, as six players had at least two of the 18 goals. ... Pavel Datsyuk, a finalist for the Hart, Selke, and Lang Byng trophies, used his all-around game to tie for the team lead with three goals against Anaheim in the regular season. He was first with seven points, one more than Henrik Zetterberg. ... Chris Osgood went 2-0 with a 2.96 GAA average in the regular-season series, and backup Ty Conklin was 1-0 with a 1.99 GAA. Osgood carried the full workload in the first round, playing every minute of the series and yielding only seven goals on 110 shots. He gave up a total of two goals in the first three games before gutting out a 6-5 win in the Game 4 clincher. ... Detroit had NHL-best 31.8 power-play percentage in first round, scoring seven man-advantage goals.

ANAHEIM: Jonas Hiller has completely wrested the starting goalie job from Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was the playoff MVP during Anaheim's run to the 2003 Stanley Cup finals and backstopped the journey to the championship in 2007. Hiller, who played only 19 minutes of one game vs. Detroit during the season, was sharp against the top-seeded Ducks in the first round. He was in goal for the entire series and gave up 10 goals on 230 shots. His regular-season loss to the Red Wings was a tough defeat as he allowed just one goal. Giguere was touched for 14 goals in four games vs. Detroit. ... Ryan Getzlaf had a team-high nine points in the regular-season series, and is the Ducks' leader in the playoffs after posting eight points against San Jose. ... Rookie Bobby Ryan could be the player to watch after he showed no youthful jitters and scored four goals in his first NHL playoff series.

OUTLOOK: Anaheim not just happy to be here. Ducks in 6.


VANCOUVER: The Canucks outscored the Blackhawks 11-3 in final two meetings this season, including 4-0 road victory on March 29. ... Vancouver will have had eight days off before series begins Thursday night. ... G Roberto Luongo was the biggest factor in the first-round sweep of the Blues with an NHL-best 1.15 GAA and .962 save percentage. The Canucks outscored St. Louis 11-5 in the series. ... Luongo yielded seven goals in three games vs. Chicago during the season. ... Twin brothers Henrik and Daniel Sedin tied for the team lead with six points each in the regular-season series against Chicago. Daniel had four goals and two assists, while his brother got six points in reverse fashion. ... Alexandre Burrows netted a club-best three goals in the opening round of the playoffs.

CHICAGO: Blackhawks had second-best power-play unit in opening round of the playoffs, clicking seven times (29.2 percent). ... Nikolai Khabibulin, who helped the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Stanley Cup title in 2004, is paying dividends now for the upstart Blackhawks. He posted a 2.52 GAA with a .914 save percentage against Calgary as Chicago reached the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 1996. Khabibulin went 0-2 with 4.84 GAA against Canucks in regular season, allowing eight goals in two games, and split time with Cristobal Huet. Huet earned both wins vs. Vancouver by yielding only six goals in three outings. ... The defense will rely on rising star Brent Seabrook, who played a most effective game against Jarome Iginla and the Flames in the first round. He had six points - one off the team lead - and was a plus-1 in the series. ... Patrick Sharp scored a club-best three goals against Vancouver in the season and tied for the lead with three goals in the opening playoff round.

OUTLOOK: Travel and too much Luongo puts end to Chicago joy ride. Canucks in 6.


End Capsules

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