Tampa Bay Lightning over New York Rangers 4-1
The Rangers have come from behind and stolen seven-game series from both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes, with the key being goalie Igor Shesterkin, as New York has been outplayed by its opponents for significant chunks in the first two rounds. Their reward is home ice advantage in the conference finals, but at the price of the matching up with the Tampa Bay Lightning, the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion, who have seemed to find their footing after an uneven regular season.
Shesterkin and his Lightning counterpart, Andrei Vasilevskiy, are a juicy goaltending matchup, and each are more than capable of stealing a series. That said, at this point, the Lightning are the more complete team.
Colorado Avalanche over Edmonton Oilers 4-2
I admit I have the hindsight of knowing the result of the 8-6 shootout victory for the Avalanche in Game One. I predict more of the same high octane offense regardless of any counter measures each team will take to slow down the other. A interesting stat I read this morning stated that the Oilers have scored the most goals thus far in the postseason. Unfortunately, they have given up the most, as well. I expect more of the latter against Colorado.