East Division First Round
The Washington Capitals kicked off the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs with a 3-2 win in overtime over the Boston Bruins on Saturday evening. T.J. Oshie and noted goon Tom Wilson both notched two points in the win. Former San Jose Sharks defender Brenden Dillon got in on the scoring, as well, with the team’s second goal.
Tuukka Rask still made 29 saves on 32 shots for the Bruins, who saw goals from Jake DeBrusk and Nick Ritchie. Per the NHL, teams that take a 1-0 lead in a best-of-seven series have a 490-222 (.688) record of winning the series, so the Bruins are battling against the odds.
Central Division First Round
Due to this season’s alignment, this game marks the first ever meeting between the Carolina Hurricanes and Nashville Predators in the postseason. The Hurricanes come into the series as the top seed in the Central Division, the first time they’ve won a division title since the 2005-06 season.
That success was largely on the backs of the Predators, as the ‘Canes won their first six meetings, but as the season came to a close, the Preds put up back-to-back wins, holding Carolina to just one goal over the series.
West Division First Round
The Colorado Avalanche are heavy cup favorites coming into their second best-of-seven postseason series against the St. Louis Blues. The President’s Trophy-winning team was a Game 7 away from the Stanley Cup Final last season and even through two pandemic seasons have remained largely dominant.
The Blues are two seasons removed from a Stanley Cup title themselves, but it’s been a difficult road for St. Louis since, and they were just a handful of games from looking at the 2021 postseason from the outside.