Sunday, April 9, 2017

{allcanada} Eastern Conference playoff matchups finalized


The Eastern Conference matchups for the Stanley Cup Playoffs were finalized Sunday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will play the Washington Capitals in the Eastern Conference First Round, and the Boston Bruins will face the Ottawa Senators.

Toronto finished as the second wild card into the playoffs from the East when it lost 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their regular-season finale Sunday. The Maple Leafs would have finished third in the Atlantic Division with a win or a loss in overtime or the shootout.

Toronto's regulation loss meant the Bruins finished third in the Atlantic. Boston will begin the postseason on the road against Ottawa, which finished in second place in the division.

The other two matchups in the East had already been set. The Atlantic Division-winning Montreal Canadiens will play the New York Rangers, who finished as the first wild card from the East, and the Pittsburgh Penguins (second place in Metropolitan) will face the Blue Jackets (third place in Metropolitan).

In the Western Conference, the Anaheim Ducks can clinch the Pacific Division with at least one point against the Los Angeles Kings or if the Edmonton Oilers lose to the Vancouver Canucks in any fashion. If that happens, the Ducks would host the Calgary Flames, who finished as the first wild card, and the Oilers would play the San Jose Sharks.

If the Oilers get two points and the Ducks get none, Edmonton will win the division. The Oilers would play the Flames, and the Ducks would finish second in the division and face the Sharks in the first round.

The Chicago Blackhawks will play the Nashville Predators, and the Minnesota Wild will face the St. Louis Blues in the first round.

The playoffs begin Wednesday.

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