NHL Conference Finals

We are now down to the final four teams vying to be the 2013 Stanley Cup Champions.

In the Eastern Conference, the #4 Boston Bruins look to leap frog over the #1 Pittsburgh Penguins.  Boston looked much better against the New York Rangers than they did against the Maple Leafs, winning in five games.

Pittsburgh if 3-0-0 against Boston this season.  Pittsburgh and Boston have faced each other four times in the past.  Boston won series in 1979 (four games to none) and 1980 (three games to two.)  Pittsburgh won series in 1991 (four games to two) and 1992 (four games to none.)  In 1991 and 1992, Pittsburgh went on to win the Stanley Cup and is 10-9 overal against Boston in the postseason.  As both Western Conference Semifinal series went seven games, both teams will be well rested for Game #1 in Pittsburgh.

The Stanley Cup.

The Stanley Cup.

In the Western Conference, #5 Los Angelees vs. #1 ChicagoBlackhawks.  Both teams played a full seven games to advance, with Los Angeles winning Game 7 by a score of 2-1, the fourth game in their series against San Jose that ended in a 2-1 result.  Chicago came back from a 3-1 deficit in their series with the Red Wings, winning game #7 at home in overtime 2-1.

The Kings and Blackhawks have only met once before in the postseason, way back in the first round of the 1974 playoffs.  The Blackhawks won that series four games to none, outscoring the Kings 10-7.  The Kings and Blackhawks opened the season in a game in Los Angeles, a 5-2 win by Chicago.  Chicago would also win two out of three meetings during the regular season.  The Blackhawks are the Presidents’ Trophy winners for 2013, while the Kings are the defending Stanley Cup Champions.

My prediction for the Conference Finals are the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Chicago Blackhawks.  After the second round, I have a record of 8-4, as all my second round predictions won their respective series.  So, let’s see if the best two teams from their respective Conferences will make it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

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