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Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round predictions

NHL.com staff members make their picks for eight series, Conn Smythe, champions

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NHL.com experts have made their predictions for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and they are split on who will win it all.

Seven of the 14 staff members picked the Nashville Predators, who won the Presidents' Trophy, to hoist the Stanley Cup at the end of the playoffs.

The Tampa Bay Lightning, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, were picked by three experts to win it all; the Pittsburgh Penguins were picked by two to win the Cup for the third straight season. The Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins were picked to win by one staffer each.  

Here are NHL.com's picks for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs:

 

Amalie Benjamin, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Columbus Blue Jackets
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Final: Bruins over Jets
Conn Smythe Trophy: Patrice Bergeron, Bruins

 

Tim Campbell, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Toronto Maple Leafs
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Lightning over Predators
Conn Smythe Trophy: Steven Stamkos, Lightning

Video: Which is the best path for Tampa in the playoffs?

 

Brian Compton, NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Columbus Blue Jackets
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Los Angeles Kings
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Lightning over Predators
Conn Smythe Trophy: Victor Hedman, Lightning

 

Nick Cotsonika, NHL.com Columnist

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Bruins
Conn Smythe Trophy: P.K. Subban, Predators 

 

Lisa Dillman, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: New Jersey Devils
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH VS COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Los Angeles Kings
ANA vs. SJS: Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Capitals 
Conn Smythe Trophy: Pekka Rinne, Predators

 

Tom Gulitti, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: New Jersey Devils
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Minnesota Wild
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Capitals
Conn Smythe Trophy: Filip Forsberg, Predators

Video: The guys preview the Predators-Avalanche series

 

Pete Jensen, NHL.com Fantasy Editor 

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning 
BOS vs. TOR: Toronto Maple Leafs 
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets 
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Capitals
Conn Smythe Trophy: P.K. Subban, Predators

 

Mike G. Morreale, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Toronto Maple Leafs
WSH vs. CBJ: Columbus Blue Jackets
PIT vs. PHI: Philadelphia Flyers

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Los Angeles Kings
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Lightning over Jets
Conn Smythe Trophy: Nikita Kucherov, Lightning

 

Tracey Myers, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Jets over Bruins
Conn Smythe Trophy: Patrik Laine, Jets

 

Bill Price, NHL.com Editor-in-Chief

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: New Jersey Devils
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals 
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights 
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Penguins over Jets 
Conn Smythe Trophy: Sidney Crosby, Penguins

Video: The guys preview the Wild-Jets series

 

Shawn Roarke, NHL.com Director of Editorial 

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: New Jersey Devils
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Columbus Blue Jackets
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins 

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Los Angeles Kings
ANA vs. SJS: Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Penguins
Conn Smythe Trophy: Pekka Rinne, Predators

 

Dan Rosen, NHL.com Senior Writer

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Columbus Blue Jackets
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Los Angeles Kings
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Bruins
Conn Smythe Trophy: P.K. Subban, Predators

 

Dave Stubbs, NHL.com Columnist

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Boston Bruins
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Vegas Golden Knights
ANA vs. SJS: Anaheim Ducks

Stanley Cup Final: Predators over Bruins
Conn Smythe Trophy: P.K. Subban, Predators

 

Mike Zeisberger, NHL.com Staff Writer

Eastern Conference First Round 
TBL vs. NJD: Tampa Bay Lightning
BOS vs. TOR: Toronto Maple Leafs
WSH vs. CBJ: Washington Capitals
PIT vs. PHI: Pittsburgh Penguins

Western Conference First Round
NSH vs. COL: Nashville Predators
WPG vs. MIN: Winnipeg Jets
VGK vs. LAK: Los Angeles Kings
ANA vs. SJS: San Jose Sharks

Stanley Cup Final: Penguins over Jets
Conn Smythe Trophy: Sidney Crosby, Penguins

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