The second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will have to be pretty spectacular to match the first round.
The conference quarterfinals wrapped up Wednesday night with a pair of Game 7s, each one memorable in its own right. In Boston, the Bruins exorcised a host of demons by beating the Canadiens 4-3 in overtime on a goal by Nathan Horton
. In Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay capped a comeback from a 3-1 series deficit and edged the Penguins 1-0 behind 36 saves by Dwayne Roloson
and a goal by Sean Bergenheim
The Nashville Predators
and Vancouver Canucks
have Thursday night all to themselves -- they begin their Western Conference semifinal-round series
at Rogers Arena.
Here's your daily NHL.com Reading List for a set of quick links to some of the stories you won't want to miss:
Nothing but smiles for Horton
is the man of the hour in Boston. Horton, who scored the Game 5 winner in double overtime, gave the Bruins their first Game 7 win since 1994 when he scored 5:43 into OT for a 4-3 victory against the Montreal Canadiens
. Shawn Roarke
talks with the happiest Bruin.
Flyers are Bruins' new focus
As much as they enjoyed eliminating Montreal, the Bruins don't have a lot of time to celebrate -- they begin their second-round series against Philadelphia on Saturday. Shawn Roarke
talks with the Bruins about trying to exorcise the memory of last season's historic loss to the Flyers.
Canadiens future is bright
The Montreal Canadiens
gave it everything they had in their series against Boston but came up just short, losing 4-3 in overtime in Game 7. Arpon Basu
says the Canadiens still have a bright future, led by the combination of goaltender Carey Price
and defenseman P.K. Subban
Roloson saves best for last
appears to be getting better with age. The 41-year-old stopped 36 shots on Wednesday to help Tampa Bay complete its comeback against Pittsburgh with a 1-0 win in Game 7. Dave Lozo
talks with the NHL's oldest goaltender.
Penguins: We didn't relax
The Pittsburgh Penguins
had three cracks at eliminating the Tampa Bay Lightning
, but couldn't do it. Alan Robinson
talks with the Pens after their 1-0 loss to Tampa Bay in Game 7 capped the first loss in 36 years in a series in which they led 3-1.
Hamhuis set to face old friends
A year ago, Dan Hamhuis
was a Nashville Predator. Now he's a member of the Vancouver Canucks
-- and will do his best to make sure his old club doesn't get past the second round of the playoffs. Dan Rosen
talks with Hamhuis about facing his former teammates with a lot on the line.
Predators ready for new experience
The Nashville Predators
will do something on Thursday that they've never done before -- play in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Dhiren Mahiban
talks with the Predators about going where no Nashville team has gone before.
Sharks downplay dominance of Wings
The San Jose Sharks
bounced Detroit in five games last spring, then won three of four regular-season meetings. But as Eric Gilmore
writes, they're not taking anything for granted going into their Western Conference Semifinal series against the Wings.