Photo: Forward Patrice Bergeron (37) and defenseman Zdeno Chara (33) will once again be two important pieces in the Bruins quest for a second consecutive Stanley Cup (courtesy of
Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)
Two teams from the NHL's Northeast Division will be taking part in the first round of the 2012 NHL Playoffs that begin Wednesday night. Below is a look at the keys for the Ottawa Senators and defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins against their opening round opponents.
Jeanine Leech/Icon SMI)
Four of the five teams in the Atlantic Division made the 2012 NHL playoffs. The Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins get started on Wednesday night, while the New York Rangers open on Thursday night and the New Jersey Devils begin on Friday.
Photo: Florida Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen may get the nod in goal over Jose Theodore in the Panthers opening round playoff series vs. Clemmensen's old team, the New Jersey Devils (courtesy of
Bill Streicher/Icon SMI)
The Southeast Division avoided sending just one team to the postseason when the Capitals outlasted the Sabres to earn a playoff berth. Washington also managed to leapfrog past Ottawa along the way, earning the seventh seed and a date with the defending champion Boston Bruins in Round 1 of the 2012 NHL Playoffs.
Ray Carlin/Icon SMI)
In the regular season, the NHL's Central Division ranked along with the Atlantic as the two most competitive divisions in the league. In St. Louis, Nashville, Detroit and Chicago, the Central produced four of the top five teams in the Western Conference with all four topping the 100-point plateau.
Bob Frid/Icon SMI)
Some divisions have a wealth of teams heading into the playoff race, but not the Northwest, which has seemingly decided for quality over quantity. The division has just one representative in the playoffs this season, but that one representative just happens to also be the winner of the NHL's President's Trophy, the Vancouver Canucks.