The NHL regular season has come to an end and the first round match ups for the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs have been set. In the Eastern Conference the seeding ended with the New York Rangers atop the conference, while the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals and Ottawa Senators finished in second through eighth receptively.
In the Western Conference, the Vancouver Canucks finished with the most points in both the conference and league, taking the Presidents' Trophy for the second consecutive season. Rounding out second through eighth is the St. Louis Blues, Phoenix Coyotes, Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, Chicago Blackhawks, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings respectively.
It took 82 games, but, this season saw two teams, in the Coyotes and Panthers, win their first division titles in franchise history. All but the Panthers, Devils, Senators and Blues are returning to the post season dance.
Nine teams in the playoffs (Kings, Sharks, Coyotes, Capitals, Panthers, Canucks, Senators, Predators, and Blues) have never won a Stanley Cup, but come April 11 those and the rest of the teams will start their try at a run to win the Stanley Cup. After the jump is a quick look at each match up.
#1 New York Rangers vs. #8 Ottawa Senators
Regular Season Series: Tied 2-2
Nov 25: New York 6, at Washington 3
Dec 28: at Washington 4, New York 1Feb12: at New York 3, Washington 2Apr 7: Washington 4, at New York 1
#2 Boston Bruins vs. #7 Washington CapitalsRegular Season Series: Boston Wins 5-1
Nov 1: at Boston 5, Ottawa 3
Dec 14: Boston 5, at Ottawa 2Jan 31: at Boston 4, Ottawa 3Feb 25: Boston 5, at Ottawa 3Feb 28: Ottawa 1, at Boston 0Apr 5: Boston 3, at Ottawa 1
#3 Florida Panthers vs. #6 New Jersey Devils
Regular Season Series: Tied 2-2
Nov 21: at Florida 4, New Jersey 3Dec 13: New Jersey 3, at Florida 2Jan 6: at New Jersey 5, Florida 2Feb 11: Florida 3, at New Jersey 1
#4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #5 Philadelphia Flyers
Regular Season Series: Philadelphia wins 4-2
Dec 8: at Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2Dec 29: Philadelphia 4, at Pittsburgh 2Feb 18: Pittsburgh 6, at Philadelphia 4Mar 18: at Philadelphia 3, Pittsburgh 2Apr 1: Philadelphia 6, at Pittsburgh 4Apr 7: at Pittsburgh 4, Philadelphia 2
Western Conference#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #8 Los Angeles KingsRegular Season Series: Tied 2-2Nov 10 Vancouver 3, @ Los Angeles 2Dec 31 @ Los Angeles 4, Vancouver 1Jan 17 Los Angeles 3, @Vancouver 2Mar 26 @Vancouver 1, Los Angeles 0
# St. Louis Blues vs. #7 San Jose SharksRegular Season Series: St. Louis Wins 4-0Oct 15 St. Louis 4, @ San Jose 2Dec 10 @ St. Louis 1, San Jose 0Feb 12 @ St. Louis 3, San Jose 0Mar 3 St. Louis 3, @ San Jose 1
#3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. #6 Chicago BlackhawksRegular Season Series: Phoenix wins 3-1Oct 18: Chicago 5, at Phoenix 2Nov 29: Phoenix 4, at Chicago 1Dec 5: Phoenix 4, at Chicago 3Feb 11: at Phoenix 3, Chicago 0
#4 Nashville Predators vs. #5 Detroit Red WingsRegular Season Series: Tied 3-3Nov 26: at Detroit 4, Nashville 1Dec 15: at Nashville 4, Detroit 3Dec 26: Detroit 4, at Nashville 1Feb 17: at Detroit 2, Nashville 1Mar 10: at Nashville 3, Detroit 2Mar 30: Nashville 4, at Detroit 1