The 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs have been full of entertaining action, but the second-round battles have hockey fans across the world on the edge of their seats in anticipation of the final outcome in each series.
With dream matchups in both the Eastern and Western Conferences—each series has featured both teams winning games and looking dominant at times—hockey fans have been treated to one of the best playoffs in a long time.
Here is the updated bracket, second-round schedule and the championship odds for the remaining teams in the postseason.
Here's the updated 2014 NHL Playoff Bracket! Who are you cheering for? pic.twitter.com/mMAXLnnmLf— Maple Ridge Chrysler (@MapleRidgeCJD) May 1, 2014
Bracket via Maple Ridge Chrysler. Updated bracket via NHLPlayoffsBracket.com.
|1||Canadiens beat Bruins, 4-3||May 1||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Bruins beat Canadiens, 5-3||May 3||12:30 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Canadiens beat Bruins, 4-2||May 6||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Bruins beat Canadiens, 1-0||May 8||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Bruins beat Canadiens, 4-2||May 10||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6||Bruins at Canadiens||May 12||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|7*||Canadiens at Bruins||May 14||TBD||TBD|
|1||Rangers beat Penguins, 3-2||May 2||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Penguins beat Rangers, 3-0||May 4||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|3||Penguins beat Rangers, 2-0||May 5||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Penguins beat Rangers, 4-2||May 7||7:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Rangers beat Penguins, 5-1||May 9||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6||Rangers beat Penguins, 3-1||May 11||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|7||Rangers at Penguins||May 13||7 p.m.||NBCSN|
|1||Blackhawks beat Wild, 5-2||May 2||9:30 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Blackhawks beat Wild, 4-1||May 4||3 p.m.||NBC|
|3||Wild beat Blackhawks, 4-0||May 6||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|4||Wild beat Blackhawks, 4-2||May 9||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|5||Blackhawks beat Wild, 2-1||May 11||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|6||Blackhawks at Wild||May 13||9 p.m.||CNBC|
|7*||Wild at Blackhawks||May 15||TBD||TBD|
|1||Kings beat Ducks, 3-2||May 3||8 p.m.||NBCSN|
|2||Kings beat Ducks, 3-1||May 5||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|3||Ducks beat Kings, 3-2||May 8||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|4||Ducks beat Kings, 2-0||May 10||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|5||Kings at Ducks||May 12||10 p.m.||NBCSN|
|6||Ducks at Kings||May 14||TBD||TBD|
|7*||Kings at Ducks||May 16||TBD||TBD|
Source: NHL.com. *Denotes if necessary
Now that you've seen the schedule, here are the latest Stanley Cup odds.
|Los Angeles||13-2, +650|
|New York||20-1, +2000|
Series to Watch: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers
The best series of the second round thus far has been the Eastern Conference battle between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the New York Rangers. Six games weren’t enough to settle this matchup, and these teams will play Game 7 on Tuesday.
With both teams playing well at points throughout this series, there is no doubt that it will get extremely chippy on Tuesday as both organizations fight with everything they have to advance to the conference championship.
According to Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, this series is make or break for the Penguins and their coaching staff:
I think these things about Game 7: 1. Penguins will either win or blow up Buffalo Bills-Super-Bowl-style. 2. Bylsma coaching for job.— Joe Starkey (@JoeStarkey1) May 12, 2014
He's playing hard. He's got emotion. I'm sure we probably got away with a few things. It's a series. Game 6 is over, but it doesn't mean the series is over, obviously. It's a series and that's the way it goes sometimes.
There is no doubt that Pittsburgh has more offensive depth and talent, but players like Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz are not living up to expectations. With New York netminder Henrik Lundqvist playing at his best right now, Game 7 will be the biggest test of the season for the Penguins.
Who ya got?
Even if you don’t like either of these teams, the fact that they will be going to battle in a Game 7 should have all hockey fans excited. When the first six games aren’t enough to decide the better team, a winner-takes-all final battle is exactly what the sport wants.
Tuesday’s game is must-watch television.
*Stats via NHL.com.