2010 NHL Playoff Predictions: Predicting the First Round

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2010 NHL Playoff Predictions: Predicting the First Round

Sunday afternoon, the NHL's playoff picture finally achieved clarity. With two exciting overtime finishes and a winner-take-all shootout, the seeds are set and the matchups are known.

So who wins it all?

The numbers don't lie: This could be an exhausting playoffs. Five playoff virgins will be between the pipes in the Western Conference, and a sixth hasn't played in the second season in four years.

Meanwhile, the East will have some teams that have historically hated each other doing battle for the chance to raise the Cup. For Sidney Crosby and the Penguins, they don't want to let go of it.

But to get to the Cup, these teams will first have to advance past the first round. Is there a Cinderella eight seed that could sneak up on a No. 1? Is there a darkhorse that might shock the world?

Let's look at the matchups and make some predictions.

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