Three of four East playoff matchups set after Capitals take third, Bruins land fourth
After the Capitals beat the Bruins 2-1 to take the East’s third spot, three of that conference’s four playoff matchups are now set. The 2020 Stanley Cup Qualifiers proved to be unpredictable with the Flyers in first, Lightning in second, Capitals third, and Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins fourth.
This concludes the East portion of round-robin games. The West side is complete, too, after the Stars beat the Blues in a shootout. We’ll get a totally complete playoff picture league-wide after Game 5 of Maple Leafs - Blue Jackets.
Game 5: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. ET; livestream
T.J. Oshie opened the scoring, while Tom Wilson reminded people of amusing David Pastrnak tweets by nabbing the 2-0 goal that became the game-winner. Once again, the Bruins’ top line didn’t find the net, although David Pastrnak looked spry. It’s also fair to wonder about John Carlson’s health heading into the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]
Three of four Eastern Conference matchups now set for 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs
1. Philadelphia Flyers vs. 12. Montreal Canadiens
(Yes, that still feels weird on a few levels.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning vs. winner of Blue Jackets/Maple Leafs Game 5
Who would you prefer to face if you were the Lightning?
3. Washington Capitals vs. 7. New York Islanders
The Capitals vs. former head coach Barry Trotz? Not bad.
4. Boston Bruins vs. 6. Carolina Hurricanes
Tough draw for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Bruins, huh? Boston needs to hope that the Hurricanes got a little rusty after quickly sweeping the Rangers.
All West NHL matchups set for 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs
1. Vegas Golden Knights vs. 12. Chicago Blackhawks
Robin Lehner against the team he briefly played for this season? Fun/awkward.
2. Colorado Avalanche vs. 11. Arizona Coyotes
Taylor Hall against Nathan MacKinnon and the rising Avs could make for good theater.
3. Dallas Stars vs. 8. Calgary Flames
Calgary could be a threat, although the Flames have been up-and-down.
4. St. Louis Blues vs. 7. Vancouver Canucks
The Canucks boast quite a bit of starpower for a lower seed (although the West presents multiple lower seeds that, while flawed, have some big names).