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NHL Playoffs 2012: Breaking Down Potential Eastern Conference 2nd-Round Series

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 21:  Goalie Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils follows the play with Wayne Simmonds #17 and Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers at the Prudential Center on January 21, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey. The Flyers defeated the Devils 4-1. (Photo by Norman Y. Lono/Getty Images)
Norman Y. Lono/Getty Images
Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IIApril 24, 2012

The Philadelphia Flyers wrapped up their first-round series on Sunday when they defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6.

The other three series are all going to a seventh game, leaving the Flyers without any idea of who their second-round opponent will be in the Eastern Conference Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The first Game 7 will be in Boston on Wednesday night, as the seventh-seeded Washington Capitals look to upset the second-seeded Bruins.

The other two matches will take place on Thursday, with the eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators going to New York to play the Rangers, and the New Jersey Devils travelling to play the Panthers in Florida.

After Wednesday's Washington vs. Boston game, some clarity regarding the second round will be found. Here are the possible second round match-ups depending on which team progresses.


If Boston, New York, Florida win:

No. 1 New York plays No. 5 Philadelphia

No. 2 Boston plays No. 3 Florida

-Atlantic division rivals New York and Philadelphia face-off. The Rangers won all their regular season meetings, including the Winter Classic in Philadelphia.

-Florida won two of four regular-season meetings in regulation, while Boston won one in regulation, one in shootout.

If Boston, New York, New Jersey win:

No. 1 New York plays No. 6. New Jersey

No. 2 Boston plays No. 5 Philadelphia

-Atlantic Division rivals New York and New Jersey play. Two games between these teams this season started with multiple fights.

-Boston and Philadelphia play for the third consecutive playoffs; Boston blew a 3-0 lead in 2010 before sweeping Philadelphia in 2011.


If Boston, Ottawa, Florida win:

No. 2 Boston plays No. 8 Ottawa

No. 3 Florida plays No. 5 Philadelphia

-The Northeast Division matchup pits the Bruins against the Senators in what is sure to be a physical series.

-Florida ends up with home-ice "advantage" (Flyers had NHL's top road record) despite having won nine less regular-season games.


If Boston, Ottawa, New Jersey win:

No. 2 Boston plays No. 8 Ottawa

No. 5 Philadelphia plays No. 6 New Jersey

-The Flyers take on the Devils in the playoffs yet again. The teams last met in the playoffs in 2010, with the Flyers winning in five games.


If Washington, New York, Florida win:

No. 1 New York plays No. 7 Washington

No. 3 Florida plays No. 5 Philadelphia

-The Rangers meet Washington for the third time in four seasons. The Capitals eliminated New York in first round of 2011 and 2009.


If Washington, Ottawa, Florida win:

No. 3 Florida plays No. 8 Ottawa

No. 5 Philadelphia plays No. 7 Washington

-The Panthers and Senators have a combined three appearances in the Eastern Conference Finals. This matchup would guarantee a fourth appearance for one of these sides.

-The second semifinal is a rematch of the 2008's first round, which the Flyers won in overtime of Game 7. Philadelphia has the edge on Washington this season.


If Washington, New York, New Jersey win:

No. 1 New York plays No. 7 Washington

No. 5 Philadelphia plays No. 6 New Jersey


If Washington, Ottawa, New Jersey win:

No. 5 Philadelphia plays No. 8 Ottawa

No. 6 New Jersey plays No. 7 Washington

-All the lower-seeded teams move on to the second round.

-The Flyers went 2-1 against the Senators this season, while the Devils won three of four games against Capitals (two in shootouts).

Philadelphia can play any of the six remaining teams.


Jason Sapunka covers the NHL and Philadelphia Flyers. He is available on Twitter for updates, commentary and analysis.

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