NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round 2 Preview and Predictions

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The NHL Playoffs opening round was a thrilling as anyone could’ve hoped with 5 series going to Game 7.

We now know all the second round matchups with two series beginning on Tuesday, May 17 and the other two set for Wednesday, May 18. Here’s a quick preview with predictions for each Round Two series.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Round Two Opening Schedule

In the wee hours of the morning, the NHL released its full schedule for Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

(A1) Panthers vs (AC3) Lightning GM1: 5/17(C1) Avalanche vs (C3) Blues GM1: 5/17
(M1) Hurricanes vs (M2) Rangers GM1: 5/18(P1) Flames vs (P2) Oilers GM1: 5/18

Now here’s a look out how I did predicting Round 1 which included 7 out of 8 hits.

Panthers vs CapitalsPanthers in 6Panthers in 6ON THE MONEY
Maple Leafs vs LightingLightning in 7Lightning in 7ON THE MONEY
Hurricanes vs BruinsBruins in 6Hurricanes in 7MISS
Rangers vs PenguinsRangers in 5Rangers in 7HIT
Avalanche vs PredatorsAvalanche in 4Avalanche in 4ON THE MONEY
Wild vs BluesBlues in 7Blues in 6HIT
Flames vs StarsFlames in 5Flames in 7HIT
Oilers vs KingsOilers in 6Oilers in 7HIT
NHL Playoffs RD 1 predictions

Eastern Conference Playoffs Previews and Predictions

nhl playoffs round 2 predictions
May 18, 2021; Sunrise, Florida, USA; Florida Panthers left wing Mason Marchment (19) hits the cross bar on a shot on Tampa Bay Lightning goaltender Andrei Vasilevskiy (88) during the second period in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Panthers (58-18-6) vs Lightning (51-23-8)

The Florida Panthers were fortunate that the Washington Capitals did not have Tom Wilson in the lineup and were also inept at holding leads. The Tampa Bay Lightning will be without Brayden Point for at least the start this series, nevertheless they should still be able to win this series.

Here’s how I see it, until someone can beat the 2x time defending Stanley Cup Champions picking against them will be difficult. Florida has enough offense to get the job done, but Andrei Vasilevskiy is likely going to be the difference in this one.

Prediction: Lightning beat Panthers in 7

Hurricanes (54-20-8) vs New York Rangers (52-24-6)

nhl playoffs previews
Apr 12, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates after scoring his 50th goal of the season against the Carolina Hurricanes during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Hurricanes were able to get by the Boston Bruins without starting goaltender Frederik Anderson. Can Antti Raanta outplay the New York Rangers Igor Shesterkin? That’s just one of the questions coming into this series.

Both teams needed a Game 7 to ouster their opponents with the Rangers storming back from a 3-1 series deficit to take down the Penguins. There’s just a level of resiliency in that young group that makes me think they can pull over another big playoff win.

If the Rangers can find a way to counter the Hurricanes aggressive forecheck, they should have what it takes to take it in 7.

Prediction: Rangers beat Hurricanes in 7

Western Conference Playoffs Previews and Predictions

Colorado Avalanche (56-19-7) vs St. Louis Blues (49-22-11)

nhl playoffs
May 19, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Colorado Avalanche and St. Louis Blues players scuffle as defenseman Justin Faulk (72) lies on the ice after a hit in the third period from Colorado Avalanche center Nazem Kadri (91) in game two of the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Ball Arena. Kadri would be ejected from the game for an illegal hit to the head. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

The Avs dispatched of the Nashville Predators with ease in just 4 games. That is not going to happen with the St. Louis Blues.

This is going to be a war and the Blues are well versed in these kind of battles. In the end, it really is hard to pick against the super-stacked Avalanche. They have it all on both sides of the puck. However, and this will be key for their Stanley Cup hopes, can the Avs escape this series without any significant injury.

Prediction: Avalanche beat Blues in 6

Calgary Flames (50-21-11) vs Edmonton Oilers (49-27-6)

nhl roundup
Mar 26, 2022; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames defenseman Christopher Tanev (8) celebrates his goal with teammates against the Edmonton Oilers during the first period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Battle of Alberta is going to be a fun one– for the Calgary Flames.

I simply do not like the goaltending matchup of the Oilers Mike Smith versus the Flames Jacob Markstrom. The Flames ran into a hot goalie in Dallas by the name of Jake Oettinger. Meanwhile, Smith coughed up a game with an awful turnover against the Kings which probably pushed that series longer than it needed to go.

Despite the Oilers having Connor McDavid, Calgary is just too big, strong, fast, and deep for them. Maybe Mike Smith proves me wrong. Maybe McDavid continues his playoff leading scoring pace which is currently at 14 points.

Maybe– I just don’t see it.

Prediction: Flames beat Oilers in 6

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