WESTERN CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS OPENING NIGHT OF SECOND ROUND
The second round of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight with Game 1 of both Western Conference series, the Nashville Predators at the St. Louis Blues and the Edmonton Oilers at the Anaheim Ducks. Teams that win the first game in a best-of-7 Stanley Cup Playoffs series hold an all-time series record of 453-207 (68.6 percent), according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
* The Predators and Blues upset higher seeds to advance to the second round, where they will play in the postseason for the first time. The Predators held a slight edge in the regular-season series, going 3-2-0 against the Blues (2-3-0). Both teams were buoyed by strong goaltending performances in the opening round. The Predators' Pekka Rinne went 4-0 with a 0.70 goals-against average, .976 save percentage and two shutouts against the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Blues' Jake Allen went 4-1 with a 1.47 GAA and .956 save percentage against the Minnesota Wild.
* The Oilers visit the Pacific Division-champion Ducks in the second playoff series between the teams. The Oilers won in five games in the 2006 Western Conference Finals, which also was the Oilers' last postseason series victory prior to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Oilers held a slight advantage in the regular-season series, going 3-2-0 against the Ducks (2-1-2). Both teams were led offensively in the first round by their captains. The Oilers' Connor McDavid had four points (two goals, two assists) in six games and the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf had five points (three goals, two assists) in four games.
SNEAK PEEK AT WEDNESDAY'S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Nashville @ St. Louis, Game 1, 8 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports
Edmonton @ Anaheim, Game 1, 10:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports
DID YOU KNOW?
The greatest difference in regular-season points among the 2017 second round opponents is seven between the Washington Capitals with 118 and the Pittsburgh Penguins with 111. The remaining opponents are separated by five (Blues 99, Predators 94), four (New York Rangers 102, Ottawa Senators 98) and two (Ducks 105, Oilers 103) points, respectively.
HAMONIC, SIMMONDS NAMED FINALISTS FOR NHL FOUNDATION AWARD
Travis Hamonic of the New York Islanders and Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers are the finalists for the 2016-17 NHL Foundation Player Award, which is presented to "an NHL player who applies the core values of hockey -- commitment, perseverance and teamwork -- to enrich the lives of people in his community."
NHL clubs submitted nominations for the NHL Foundation Player Award, with the finalists selected by a judging panel. The NHL Foundation will present $25,000 to the chosen charitable organization of this year's recipient.
The winner of the NHL Foundation Player Award, as well as the winners of the Mark Messier Leadership Award and King Clancy Memorial Trophy, will be announced during the 2017 NHL Humanitarian Awards at the Encore at Wynn Las Vegas on June 20. The event will honor the League's leaders on and off the ice. The winners of the 2017 NHL Humanitarian Awards also will be recognized the following day at the 2017 NHL Awards at T-Mobile Arena.
LOOKING AHEAD TO THURSDAY …
All Times Eastern
NY Rangers @ Ottawa, Game 1, 7 p.m. ET, CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports
Pittsburgh @ Washington, Game 1, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports