Tampa Bay Lightning over Florida Panthers 4-3
The battle of Florida features the two-time defending champion Lightning taking on the Presidents Trophy-winning Panthers. This is a rematch of a playoff series from a year ago when Tampa Bay cruised past Florida. I’m taking the battle tested Lightning in an extremely tight series.
Carolina Hurricanes over New York Rangers 4-2
Both teams survived seven game series in the first round. The Rangers were generally outplayed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, especially during 5 on 5 play, however were saved by Pittsburgh blowing leads in the final 3 games (all Rangers victories). Carolina will not allow New York back into any games.
Colorado Avalanche over St. Louis Blues 4-2
The Avs will finally get over the hump of the second round and continue to be the Stanley Cup favorites by getting past a tough St. Louis squad.
Edmonton Oilers over Calgary Flames 4-3
The battle of Alberta will see Connor McDavid and company ride into the conference finals in what could be a classic series. Look for Oilers’ goaltender Mike Smith to have to stand on his head at times.