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Both NHL Conference Finals Are Even and Have Been Delivering Epic Games

The NHL Conference Finals Have Four Teams With the Same Possibilities of Lifting the Stanley Cup

It’s All About the Details

The NHL games being played in the postseason are producing amazing performances and the TV ratings are up over 11% from last year because of it. Below we discuss the Conference Finals clashes that have been making NHL news and keeping hockey fans up past their bedtimes.


Both NHL Conference Finals Are Even and Have Been Delivering Epic Games
Philip Broberg #86 of the Edmonton Oilers and Sam Steel #18 of the Dallas Stars | Codie McLachlan/Getty Images/AFP


Eastern Conference Finals (Series Tied 2-2)

Game 1: Florida Panthers 3 New York Rangers 0

Game 2: New York Rangers 2 Florida Panthers 1 (OT)

Game 3: New York Rangers 5 Florida Panthers 4 (OT)

Game 4: Florida Panthers 3 New York Rangers 2 (OT)


Big Surprise

NHL rumors circulating before the season began that the New York Rangers would be a contender this season. But few suspected New York would post more regular-season points (114) than any team in the league.

The Rangers continued their dominating play by sweeping the Capitals, 4-0, in the opening round, before defeating the formidable Carolina Panthers in six games. But now the Blueshirts face the sternest test of their Stanley Cup run against the gritty and determined Atlantic Division champions, the Florida Panthers.

All but the opening game of the series has been decided in overtime between these two teams with Florida evening the series at two apiece on Tuesday night, courtesy of a 3-2 victory in the extra session. Florida goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, has been outstanding during his team’s playoff run, posting a 2.29 goals-against average and winning 10 of the 15 games in which he has started.

Nevertheless, a case could be made that New York’s netminder and 2022 Vezina Trophy winner, Igor Shesterkin, has been even sharper in delivering a 10-4 record with a stellar .925 save percentage compared to Bobrovsky’s .904 and facing 90 more playoff shots than the Florida goaltender.

Game 4 was a microcosm of that disparity as Shesterkin was peppered with 40 shots by the Panthers, saving 37, while Bobrovsky faced only 23 shots and allowing two goals in the Rangers’ 3-2 overtime win.

Playoff Scoring Leaders: NYR: Vincent Trocheck (8-11-19)/FLA: Matthew Tkachuk (5-14-19)

Prediction: Panthers in 7 games


Western Conference Finals (Series Tied 2-2)

Game 1: Edmonton Oilers 3 Dallas Stars 2 (2OT)

Game 2: Dallas Stars 3 Edmonton Oilers 1

Game 3: Dallas Stars 5 Edmonton Oilers 3

Game 4: Edmonton Oilers 5 Dallas Stars 2


Epic Turnaround

Even Edmonton’s most ardent fans would not have envisioned their hometown heroes on the precipice of the Stanley Cup Finals after opening their season by losing 10 of their first 12 regular season contests.

But a change in net and behind the bench was at least partially responsible for the team’s stunning turnaround as Stuart Skinner was installed as the starting goalie over Jack Campbell while Kris Knoblauch took the reins of the team over the deposed Jay Woodcroft.

The Oilers proceeded to post 49 wins and 104 points, giving them second place in the Pacific Division and a head of steam entering the playoffs. Edmonton trounced the Kings in the first round, 4-1, before ousting the division champs, the Vancouver Canucks, in seven thrilling games.

The Central Division champs, the Dallas Stars, posted 113 points in the regular season which was second only to the Rangers this season. It took the Stars seven games to knock off the Vegas Golden Knights in the first round before eliminating the Colorado Rockies in six.

The teams are all even after four games and the Oilers will have to trudge back to the Lone Star State in their next game after mounting a tremendous comeback in Game 4 after being down 2-0 early but storming back with five unanswered goals to claim a 5-2 victory.

The story for the Oilers is a relentless and uber-talented offense headlined by the dynamic duo of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl who lead all postseason point-getters with 28 and 26 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, the previously unheralded left winger, Zach Hyman, built upon a career year in 2023 when his stat line read 36-47-83 to an elite goal-scoring campaign this year, posting 54 goals in the regular season and leading all scorers in the playoffs with 13 goals in 16 games.

Playoff Scoring Leaders: EDM: Connor McDavid (4-24-28)/DAL: Miro Heiskanen (6-10-16) & Jason Robertson (6-10-16)

Prediction: Oilers in 6

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