Conference Finals Take Shape in Stanely Cup Playoffs

With the Penguins thrilling dispatch of the Capitals, the Eastern Conference Final is set while the fate of the West still hangs in the balance.

By Ruslan Shchetinin

With Tuesday’s game 6 overtime thriller—in which Penguin forward Nick Bonino scored a dagger of a series winner to yet again thwart Alexander Ovechkin and his first-seeded Washington Capitals’ Cup ambitions—the National Hockey League Eastern Conference Finals are set.

The Tampa Bay Lightning are packing their bags for Pittsburgh. Game 1 is set for this Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m. in what could be the making of a new rivalry. The defending Eastern Conference Champion Lightning has made it this far in the playoffs missing some serious star power—Steven Stamkos, Viktor Stålberg, and JT Brown have all been out and are still questionable for return. All three are making strides, and if we see them on the ice this series, we are in for quite a show.

Having Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov (with a league-leading nine goals in 10 games), Victor Hedman, Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang, and Phil Kessel all on the ice at the same time just has to leave any hockey fan salivating.

On the Western side of things, we had two game 7s—on Wednesday night the Dallas Stars played the St. Louis Blues, and on Thursday the San Jose Sharks faced off against the Nashville Predators. As close as the series may have been, the St. Louis Blues completely dominated in a 6–1 thrashing of the first-seeded Dallas Stars Wednesday. Robby Fabbri, Paul Stastny, Patrik Berglund, David Backes, Troy Brouwer, and Vladimir Tarasenko each put pucks in the net. We now wait to see if St. Louis will play San Jose or Nashville, as the two teams fight for the right to play for the Stanley Cup.

The Blues, founded in 1967, are the oldest team to have never won the Stanley Cup.