2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Second-round previews

Winnipeg's Mark Scheifele and newly acquired Paul Stastny celebrate a goal. (Trevor Hagan/CP)

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are set to continue with half the playoff field eliminated, as Round 2 gets going Thursday night.

Just one Canadian team remains and the Winnipeg Jets are the last remaining hope for Canada to end a Stanley Cup drought that dates back to the 1993 Montreal Canadiens. They’ll face the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Nashville Predators, who were pushed harder by the Colorado Avalanche than many assumed.

There continue to be many intriguing storylines and matchups, including another Crosby-Ocechkin second-round showdown. We’ve previewed each series to give you some insight and perspective into the next round.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING vs. BOSTON BRUINS

These teams had the top two spots in the Atlantic Division locked down for months and just one point separated them in the standings. Each lineup is loaded and features finalists for some major awards including the Selke, Jack Adams, Vezina and Calder. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs, Boston won a thrilling seven-gamer in the Eastern Conference final and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

CHECK OUT OUR SERIES PREVIEW

GAME DATE TIME STATION
G1 Sat., April 28 Boston @ Tampa Bay, 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT SN
G2 Mon., April 30 Boston @ Tampa Bay, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT CBC
G3 Wed., May 2 Tampa Bay @ Boston, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT CBC
G4 Fri., May 4 Tampa Bay @ Boston, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT CBC
G5* Sun., May 6 Boston @ Tampa Bay, TBD TBD
G6* Tues., May 8 Tampa Bay @ Boston, TBD TBD
G7* Thurs., May 10 Boston @ Tampa Bay, TBD TBD

WASHINGTON CAPITALS vs. PITTSBURGH PENGUINS
These two teams meet in the second round for the third season in a row, but it’s been a very one-sided rivalry as the Capitals have won just one of the 10 series these teams have ever played. Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin have defined a generation with their output, but Ovechkin has not yet gotten past the second round of the playoffs. This is the monkey Washington needs to get off its back and it comes in hot, winning four in a row to knock off Columbus and battling out of a 2-0 series deficit.

CHECK OUT OUR SERIES PREVIEW

GAME DATE TIME STATION
G1 Thurs., April 26 Pittsburgh @ Washington, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT SN, CBC
G2 Sun., April 29 Pittsburgh @ Washington, 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT CBC
G3 Tues., May 1 Washington @ Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT SN
G4 Thurs., May 3 Washington @ Pittsburgh, 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT SN
G5* Sat., May 5 Pittsburgh @ Washington, TBD TBD
G6* Mon., May 7 Washington @ Pittsburgh, TBD TBD
G7* Wed., May 9 Pittsburgh @ Washington, TBD TBD

WESTERN CONFERENCE

NASHVILLE PREDATORS vs. WINNIPEG JETS
These were the top two teams in the NHL this season and neither slowed in the first round. The beauty of this series is that Nashville and Winnipeg can play fast, heavy, they have great goaltenders, can score a pile and be tough to play against on defence. There are very few weaknesses on either side and whichever team comes out on top will be the instant favourite to win the Stanley Cup — so long as they’re healthy after four wins.

CHECK OUT OUR SERIES PREVIEW

GAME DATE TIME STATION
G1 Fri., April 27 Winnipeg @ Nashville, 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT CBC,SN360
G2 Sun., April 29 Winnipeg @ Nashville, 7 p.m. ET/ 4 p.m. PT CBC
G3 Tues., May 1 Nashville @ Winnipeg, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT CBC
G4 Thurs., May 3 Nashville @ Winnipeg, 9:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. PT CBC
G5* Sat., May 5 Winnipeg @ Nashville, TBD CBC, OMNI
G6* Mon., May 7 Nashville @ Winnipeg, TBD CBC
G7* Thurs., May 10 Winnipeg @ Nashville, TBD CBC

VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS
With how quickly these two teams dispatched their Pacific Division rivals in Round 1, both proved their fast-paced style of play trumped slow, heavy hockey. The Golden Knights just keep surprising everyone and now run into a Sharks team that surged after the trade deadline and kept getting production from their big acquisition, Evander Kane, in the playoffs. While both teams can score, their goalies had the best two save percentages in Round 1.

CHECK OUT OUR SERIES PREVIEW

GAME DATE TIME STATION
G1 Thurs., April 26 San Jose @ Vegas, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT SN, CBC
G2 Sat., April 28 San Jose @ Vegas, 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT SN, CBC, OMNI
G3 Mon., April 30 Vegas @ San Jose, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT CBC
G4 Wed., May 2 Vegas @ San Jose, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT CBC
G5* Fri., May 4 San Jose @ Vegas, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT CBC
G6* Sun., May 6 Vegas @ San Jose, TBD TBD
G7* Tues., May 8 San Jose @ Vegas, TBD TBD

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