National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Updated bracket after Capitals beat Penguins

National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Updated bracket after Capitals beat Penguins

National Hockey League playoffs 2018: Updated bracket after Capitals beat Penguins

But the Bruins did not have an answer for Bergeron missing time and playing at less than 100 percent due to concussion-like symptoms in round one and a year-long groin injury. After a 2-1 overtime victory Monday, Beagle was ecstatic after finally vanquishing the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The biggest concern for the Capitals entering the series should be the health of two of their more important pieces. "To get past the second round is huge, but that's the process. When you play the right way, you get rewarded for it". After scoring four goals in Games 6 and 7 vs. Toronto and Game 1 vs. Tampa Bay, he went scoreless for the final four games. The Lightning took two of the three games between these teams in the regular season this year.

The Lightning eventually needs to win a Cup to be considered a success during this current run with players such as Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov and so on. They're two electric forwards in a stacked lineup. Lightning win it six against the Capitals. This will be their third conference finals appearance in four years.

The Bruins may not have to change much despite coming up short in their quest for their first Stanley Cup since 2011.

The Lightning have cruised to the Eastern Conference Finals.

Bruins forward Brad Marchand has used the past few days since his team was eliminated in the second round in five games by the Tampa Bay Lightning to reflect on his role in the loss.

The Caps have scored a total of 43 goals over their 12 playoff contests for an average of 3.58 per game while the Lightning has registered 35 goals over their 10 postseason games giving them an average of 3.50 per contest.

Losing an asset in an area where the Bruins must capitalize hurts, and it gives the Lightning even more of an advantage before the teams take the ice for Game 5. He has 54 goals and 105 points in 109 playoff games, and 33 points in 26 games against the Penguins, so it's usually been hard to point the finger at him for the Caps' postseason woes.

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The offense, meanwhile, has been hot too. Interestingly enough, the Capitals are first.

By beating the Boston Bruins on Sunday, the Lightning have already clinched a spot in the conference final.

The Rangers South connection doesn't stop there. They turned a sharp corner after that loss in Anaheim on November 15 and became an attractive enough entity for general manager Don Sweeney to go all in at the trade deadline in obtaining Rick Nash and other pieces. So what's the deal? "They check all the boxes".

Meanwhile, Tampa Bay has been able to relatively cruise through without over-taxing its top end.

Rolling four lines and playing with uncommon speed, the Golden Knights built on their National Hockey League regular season success with even stronger postseason performances. By comparison, the Capitals had three. Point scored about five minutes in when he split defenders Zdeno Chara and McAvoy at the blue line and then faked out Rask in the crease. He recorded three points (one goal and two assists) and had a team-best plus-7 rating. The third defensive unit consists of Brayden Coburn and the promising Mikhail Sergachev. But it sure seems like the Lightning's emotions are in better check. He left Game 2 of the first round with an upper body injury that required surgery, though he was back on the ice on Wednesday with a no-contact jersey.

Shortly after the penalty was up, Bergeron slipped behind the defense to accept a pass and have what looked like a good chance, but Ondrej Palat pestered him with his stick from behind and did not allow Bergeron many options.

The Capitals, meanwhile, have had the league's second-best power play in the playoffs, scoring 30.4 percent of their opportunities.

The Capitals, for instance, don't have Andre Burakovsky right now, while Nicklas Backstrom is obviously playing while banged up. This is new territory for Holtby and the rest of this Capitals team.

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