The second round of the NHL playoffs is going to be amazing. Great matchups abound, and before it is over three of the four matchups will go the full seven games.
Consider this karma for the fans. After a lengthy lockout delayed the start of the season, the postseason is now making up for all the on-ice drama missed due to off-ice drama.
Here are the three series that will go the distance.
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings
This Kings group really knows how to turn it on for the playoffs. A lot of that is due to goalie Jonathan Quick. Last year's Conn Smythe winner has a .944 save percentage after the Kings' six first-round games.
His work in the net and the Kings' defense will give this team a shot in every game.
However, the Sharks aren't looking too shabby in the net themselves as Antti Niemi carried a .937 save percentage in four first-round games. These goalies will keep the games close, and they certainly were in the regular season.
These two split their four regular season games with three of them being decided by a goal or in a shootout.
I see the Kings pulling this one out, but it will go the distance. After all, the Sharks are nearly unbeatable at home as they've gone 19-2-5 on their home ice this year.
Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Looking at the regular season, all signs point toward the Penguins cruising in this series. The Penguins were absolutely dominant in the regular season, and that extended to their series with the Senators.
These teams faced off three times in the regular season, and Pittsburgh swept those three games by a combined score of 10-4.
However, it is no longer the regular season, and the first round certainly proved that. The Penguins struggled in the first round, needing six games to dispatch of the Islanders, while the Senators needed just five games to eliminate the second-seeded Canadiens.
The Penguins struggled in the first round with the Islanders' physical play and forechecking, and the Senators' brand of physical play helped them dominate the Canadiens.
That physicality will help them push this series to the distance. And while Pittsburgh's Tomas Vokoun earned a .957 save percentage in the first round to help solidify Pittsburgh's defense after Marc-Andre Fleury's struggles through the first four games, he can't keep up that pace.
The Penguins will win this one, but not before surviving a serious scare.
New York Rangers vs. Boston Bruins
Fresh off one of the greatest comebacks anyone could imagine, the Bruins are venturing into another series that will go the distance.
Just look at the results from the regular season between these two.
The Rangers and Bruins played three times. The former took the edge with two wins, but both of those came in a shootout, and both teams amassed nine goals in those three games.
Helping keep things even in this series is the fact that the Bruins aren't the only team riding in on a serious wave of momentum. The Rangers won Games 6 and 7 to take down the Washington Capitals.
Henrik Lundqvist has had a great year, and he kept that up in the first round with a .947 save percentage. He'll give the Rangers an edge in goal, but not enough to keep this one ending before Game 7.