Photo: Gregory Shamus
The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the New York Rangers today in a 6-3 rout on home ice, ending that series decisively in five games.
That means the winner of the Capitals-Flyers series will face the Penguins, the hottest team in the league, in the second round. It’ll either be Sid vs Ovi (again) or the Battle of Pennsylvania (again). Either way, the NHL is feeling pretty good about their playoff format right now.
Washington last met Pittsburgh in the 2009 playoffs. The Penguins won in seven games, ending a thrilling series with a crushing victory in Washington. (I was there. It sucked.)
In the last 20 games of the 2015-16 regular season, Pittsburgh recorded the second highest even-strength possession in the league, 56.4 percent, behind only the Kings, who were eliminated on Friday.
Washington had 52.9 percent possession in that time, 5th best in the league.
According to Stephen Burtch, Pittsburgh has three of the best playoff producers in the league on their current roster.
NHLers who have avg'd a point per game in the playoffs in 25+ gp since 2000: Crosby, Malkin, Kessel, Sakic, Forsberg, Giroux, Cammalleri.
— Stephen Burtch (@SteveBurtch) April 23, 2016
Burtch’s model predicts the Penguins to win the Cup. His is not alone.
Micah McCurdy has the Pens at 23 percent to win the championship.
(No word on the model of Keith, a Coin.)
Next up is deciding Pittsburgh’s opponent. The Caps have two chances to make it them.
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