Playing with great poise, young Braden Holtby has a chance to write another chapter in goaltending lore. (Brian Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)
By Stu Hackel
This memorable first round moves on Wednesday night to the first of three Game 7s in the Eastern Conference when a pair of marquee clubs square off in Boston: the Stanley Cup champion Bruins and the newly-minted defensive strong boys/former offensive dynamo Washington Capitals.
Had it not been for the five straight overtime games between the Coyotes and Blackhawks, this would be hailed as clearly the opening round’s tightest series. Three matches have gone to extra time and of the total 387 minutes 31 seconds played in the six games, the teams have been tied for 268: 54 of them. Washington has led for 74:14; Boston for 44:23. The only two-goal lead, which the Caps had in Game 5, lasted all of 2:54. In a postseason that has seen many see-saw lead changes, this series has had none.
Additionally, each team has scored 14 goals. But most notably, this is the first playoff matchup in Stanley Cup history ever to have its first six games all decided by one-goal margins.