2011 NHL Playoffs: 6 Key Questions for the Eastern Conference Finals

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2011 NHL Playoffs: 6 Key Questions for the Eastern Conference Finals
Elsa/Getty Images

The Eastern Conference Finals faces two teams—one who anticipated being here, and one who didn't—in a rather unusual and intriguing matchup for the Prince of Wales trophy.

The Tampa Bay Lightning—highlighted by a stacked top line and unexpectedly heroic goaltender—and the Boston Bruins—topped off by towering defenseman Zdeno Chara and veteran netminder Tim Thomas—will meet for the Eastern Conference title.

The series will begin this Saturday in Boston's TD Banknorth Garden for Game 1. However, with this being a somewhat untraditional matchup, a lot of questions remain on how the series will play out. Both teams were taken to Game 7 before they each eliminated a tough opponent in Round 1, but both teams also swept their Round 2 series to get here.

How will the two teams face off against each other? There's a lot of uncertainty surrounding that.

We'll take a look at six key questions that could make the difference for the Bolts and Bruins in this series, and also examine how the two teams match up based on what we've already seen.

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