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Originally published April 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM | Page modified April 15, 2014 at 8:11 PM

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Capsule look at NHL playoffs


A capsule look at the first-round matchups in the NHL playoffs, which begin Wednesday.

Western Conference

Colorado (52-22-8) vs. Minnesota (43-37-12)

The skinny: Under first-year coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche went from finishing with the second-fewest points in the league to a division championship.

St. Louis (52-23-7) vs. Chicago (46-21-15)

The skinny: The teams were among the league’s best before late-season slumps landed them here. Still this is only the second opening-round series in playoff history featuring two teams with at least 107 points.

Anaheim (54-20-8) vs. Dallas (40-31-11)

The skinny: Will the Ducks learn from last season, when they were the No. 2 seed before losing to No. 7 Detroit in the first round?

San Jose (51-22-9) vs. Los Angeles (46-28-8)

The skinny: This is a rematch of last year’s gritty, seven-game, second-round series won by the Kings. All seven games were won by the home team, five by one goal, one in overtime.

Eastern Conference

Boston (54-19-9) vs. Detroit (39-28-15)

The skinny: Boston represented the East in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2011, when it won the Cup, and 2013 and is favored to do so again, while the Red Wings are in the playoffs for the 23rd consecutive season.

Tampa Bay (46-27-9) vs. M ontreal (46-28-8)

The skinny: The young, quick Lightning is led by C Steven Stamkos, who scored 25 goals and had 40 points in only 37 games. Montreal was lifted by the trade-deadline acquisition of Thomas Vanek.

Pittsburgh (51-24-7) vs. Columbus (32-32-7)

The skinny: Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby (league-leading 104 points) established himself as the league’s MVP.

New York Rangers (45-31-6) vs. Philadelphia (42-30-10)

The skinny: The Flyers will have to do something they haven’t done in New York since Feb. 20, 2011 — win.

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