First Round Eastern Conference New York v Ottawa Boston v Washington Florida v New Jersey Pittsburgh v Philadelphia Western Conference Vancouver v LA St Louis v San Jose Phoenix v Chicago Nashville v Detroit 2011-2012 Current NHL Playoff Matchups, Pairings - National Hockey League - ESPN The best matchup is the Penguins and the Flyers. That'll be a good series. There are always shocks in the NHL playoffs, sometimes many of them. If I were to look for shocks, I'd pick Ottawa over the Rangers. The Sens beat the Rangers three out of four this season. I don't think its going to happen, but that's one to watch. Washington is suddenly playing well, so the Caps and the Bruins could go to the wire. In the West, conceivably, all the lower ranked teams could advance. Vancouver has been winning a lot but eking out many games. I'm not sure if St Louis is for real, Chicago is getting hot, and Detroit is good enough to go all the way. For the stats junkies, the winner of the President's trophy has won the Stanley Cup a third of the time but only once in the past 10 years. I think I also read that over the past 20 years, the winner has always come from the top 10. The would mean the winner will come from one of these - Vancouver, NY Rangers, St Louis, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit, New Jersey and Chicago.