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Second Round Preview and Predictions

I didn't make any predictions for the first round, but I'll have to begin in the second round because of all of the interesting matchups that have come about.

Boston Bruins vs Carolina Hurricanes: The Bruins have to be the the favourite in the conference. They're the Red Wings of the East. For the Penguins and Capitals, that means they'll only be able to beat them when they're on their top form. I say Bruins in six.

Washington Capitals vs Pittsburgh Penguins: The series to watch for round two. Begins Saturday - keep in mind that it's at 1 pm ET. The playoffs are about defense, so you have to give the Penguins the edge here. When you think of the Penguins offense, you only need to look towards the opposition's defense and goaltending to see if the other team has a chance. Vharlamov, you better be ready for this one. Penguins in seven.

Detroit Red Wings vs Anaheim Ducks: A re-match of the 2007 Western Conference finals. Ducks and Wings both know how to get it done in the postseason, and goaltending will be put to the test. Osgood vs Hiller? You have to give the edge to Hiller right now. The Ducks will have to keep up their scoring if they want to beat a very good Red Wings team, and I think they'll be pressed to do that on a nightly basis. Red Wings in five.

Vancouver Canucks vs Chicago Blackhawks: The Blackhawks are doing an amazing job in all aspects of the game this playoffs, and it paid off with a first series victory over the Flames. They outhustled and outchanced the Flames, and proved that they can play beyond their years. Led by the 20 year old Toews, the Blackhawks are already proving why they will be a force in the West for years to come. Blackhawks in six.