Fierce rivals Boston and Montreal will meet in a quarterfinal clash for the second straight season. (By Charles Krupa -- AP)

Eastern Conference Quarterfinals

(1) Boston Bruins vs. (8) Montreal Candadiens   |   Bruins Team Stats   |   Canadiens Team Stats

Outlook: It's a rematch of last season's seven-game, first-round meeting between the Original Six rivals, only the seedings are flipped. GM-turned-Coach Bob Gainey and the Canadiens had little to celebrate in their centennial season, and there's no reason to believe things will change against the East's most well-rounded team. In addition to having the top defenseman (Zdeno Chara) and most feared hitter (Milan Lucic), the Bruins also boast the best goaltender (Tim Thomas).
Prediction: Bruins in 5
(2) Washington Capitals vs. (7) New York Rangers   |   Capitals Team Stats   |   Rangers Team Stats

For more in-depth analysis of the Capitals' quarterfinal series, see our Capitals Playoff Section.
(3) New Jersey Devils vs. (6) Carolina Hurricanes   |   Devils Team Stats   |   Hurricanes Team Stats

Outlook: New Jersey's Martin Brodeur returned from injury in March and promptly broke the all-time record for wins by a goaltender. Brodeur and the Devils, though, later let up and skidded down the stretch, conceding the second seed to Washington. Carolina, on the other hand, changed coaches, bolstered its lineup by reacquiring Erik Cole at the deadline and finished the season on a blistering 13-3-2 run behind goalie Cam Ward, the 2006 Conn Smythe winner.
Prediction: Hurricanes in 6
(4) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (5) Philadelphia Flyers   |   Penguins Team Stats   |   Flyers Team Stats

Outlook: Feelings will get hurt, blood will be spilled and fists will fly - on the ice and in the stands - when these bitter intrastate rivals meet in a rematch of last season's conference final. The Penguins emerged from a midseason malaise under rookie coach Dan Bylsma, whose aggressive style complements Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Co. The Flyers, with Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Simon Gagne up front, are an entertaining blend of skill and ruggedness and well-suited for postseason success. But they've got questions in goal.
Prediction: Flyers in 7.

Western Conference Quarterfinals

(1) San Jose Sharks vs. (8) Anaheim Ducks   |   Sharks Team Stats   |   Ducks Team Stats

Outlook: The Sharks claimed the President's Trophy, racking up a franchise-record 117 points in the regular season behind Joe Thornton's 86 points and the league's third-best power play. But they're also at risk for becoming the first round's biggest upset. Anaheim still features the core of its 2007 championship team, led by the league-best one-two punch on the blue line in Chris Pronger and Scott Neidermayer, and closed out the regular season 10-2-1. It all could come down to goaltending - playoff-tested Evgeni Nabokov vs. postseason newcomer, Jonas Hiller.
Prediction: Sharks in 6.
(2) Detroit Red Wings vs. (7) Columbus Blue Jackets   |   Red Wings Team Stats   |   Jackets Team Stats

Outlook: The defending champion Red Wings are hockey royalty, claiming four Cups in 11 seasons. Columbus Coach Ken Hitchcock, meantime, led an the undermanned Blue Jackets team to its first playoff berth in the franchise's eight-season existence. That may have to suffice for now, despite a 3-3 regular season split against the Wings. Rookie goaltender Steve Mason (he shut out the Capitals twice) and captain Rick Nash are electrifying, but they're not ready to hang with Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Niklas Lidstrom and Marian Hossa.
Prediction: Red Wings in 5.
(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) St. Louis Blues   |   Canucks Team Stats   |   Blues Team Stats

Outlook: Predicted in the preseason to finish in the draft lottery, the young, injury-plagued and mostly anonymous Blues were guided by coach Andy Murray to their first playoff berth since 2004. It's arguably the best story in the NHL, but their storybook run will likely come to an end against a healthy Roberto Luongo and the well-balanced Canucks, who won 23 of their final 32 games. Luongo is the best goalie in the West, posting nine regular season shutouts, and should have little trouble stopping Brad Boyes and a Blues offense that ranked 19th.
Prediction: Canucks in 5
(4) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Calgary Flames   |   Blackhawks Team Stats   |   Flames Team Stats

Outlook: With a core of young and exciting talent, Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and the high-flying Blackhawks have revitalized a dormant fan base in the Windy City. They swept the Flames in the regular season, but figure to have a tougher time with Calgary this time around. Experience matters in the playoffs, and the Flames have plenty with goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and Jarome Iginla. Kiprusoff must rebound from an ordinary regular season for the Flames to stand a chance.
Prediction: Blackhawks in 7

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