A look at some of the second round matchups

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:09 PM ET

TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING (5) vs. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (1)

The Skinny: The Lightning played a Pittsburgh Penguins team that was without its top two players in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in the first round, fell behind 3-1 and then roared back to advance against the Capitals. They will not have the luxury of facing a depleted lineup against the Caps.

The Caps made short work of the New York Rangers with Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and Alexander Semin combining for 15 points. The goaltending matchup is a good one: Young Washington goaltender Michal Neuvirth gave up only eight goals against the Rangers and 41-year-old Dwayne Roloson came out of the first round with the best save percentage (.949).

Roloson had some success against the Caps as the teams split the four games between them after Roloson was acquired. This is a series with a bunch of very talented forwards with Tampa's Steven Stamkos finding the range just in time to help the Bolts win.

The Number: 25. That's the number of short-handed situations the Bolts killed off in the games in Pittsburgh during the first round, which makes them only perfect on the road. They were 34-for-35 overall against the Pens and they will to need that kind of special teams play if Tampa is to challenge the more explosive Caps.

The Prediction: CAPS in 6.

BOSTON BRUINS (3) vs. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS (2)

The Skinny: It's hard to believe there could be as much drama as there was in the first round of the NHL playoffs this spring, but this series at least has the potential to help.

It is an attractive matchup after the Flyers became just the third team in NHL history to come back from being down 3-0 (and down 3-0 in Game 7) to win a best-of-seven series, taking out the Bruins in the second round last year.

The Flyers avoided elimination by winning Game 4 of that series in overtime. Surprisingly for two teams that have been around as long as they have, this is just the sixth series between the two teams. Last year's meeting was their first since 1978. The Flyers own a 3-2 edge in the playoff series between the two clubs.

The Flyers depended on a balanced attack to come back from a 3-1 disadvantage against the Buffalo Sabres in the opening round, which included erasing a 3-0 deficit in Game 7.

Certainly a big key for the Bruins will be shutting down the Flyers line of Daniel Briere, Ville Leino and Scott Hartnell which scored almost half (10) of the Flyers' 22 goals against the Sabres.

The Number: 0. That is the number of power-play goals the Bruins managed to score against the Montreal Canadiens in 21 attempts during the first round. If the Bruins can't get the power play going and get more from leading regular-season goal scorer Milan Lucic (shut out against the Habs), the Bruins have little chance.

The Prediction: FLYERS in 7.

DETROIT RED WINGS (3) vs. SAN JOSE SHARKS (2)

The Skinny: This is the second consecutive spring these two teams have met. Last year, the Sharks put the Wings out in five games. It will be interesting to see how the Wings respond after having 10 days off following their sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes in the opening round.

The Sharks had their hands full with the Los Angeles Kings, who pushed them to six games and almost pushed them to seven, but for Joe Thornton's overtime winner in Game 6. Having a layoff like the one the Wings have experienced makes it a challenge to ramp up the intensity for Game 1.

The flip side is Wings forwards Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen benefited from the time off to nurse injuries. Zetterberg did not play against Phoenix because of a knee injury.

The Sharks led the first round in faceoff percentage (55.5%) and if they can keep up that kind of production in the circle, they might be able to limit the Red Wings puck-possession game.

The Number: 6. That's the number of power-play goals the Wings allowed to the Coyotes in the opening round on just 18 chances. Now, the Coyotes are hardly an offensive power house (23rd ranked power play in the regular season), so that might indicate a problem for the Wings.

The Sharks had the second-best power play in the NHL during the season (you can bet the San Jose coaches will be breaking down the tape to see why the Coyotes had so much success).

The Prediction: SHARKS in 6.

FIRST ROUND RECORD: 5-3


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