Colorado vs. Wild
Records: Avalanche (Central champion) 52-22-8, 112 points; Wild (top wild-card team) 43-27-12, 98 points.
Season series: Colorado won four of five.
The skinny: Under first-year coach Patrick Roy, the Avalanche went from finishing with the second-fewest points in the league last season to a division championship. Young guns Nathan MacKinnon (24 goals), Matt Duchene, Ryan O’Reilly and Gabriel Landeskog all had more than 60 points. Duchene’s availability is uncertain because of a knee injury. G Semyon Varlamov set a franchise record with 41 wins. … Only four of the 12 Wild forwards who skated in Game 1 vs. Chicago last year will play in this series. RW Jason Pominville (30 goals, 30 assists, 60 points) is the scoring leader. G Ilya Bryzgalov was picked up as insurance at the trade deadline, but now gets the starting nod in a pressure situation.
St. Louis vs. Chicago
Records: Blues (second in Central) 52-23-7, 111 points; Blackhawks (third in Central) 46-21-15, 107 points.
Season series: The Blues won the first three games, Blackhawks the final two.
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. The Blues have lost six in a row. Injured St. Louis forwards T.J. Oshie, David Backes and Vladimir Sobotka should return, but can G Ryan Miller shake off a recent slump? … Chicago should get back injured stars Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane who, along with W Patrick Sharp and D Duncan Keith, make the Hawks tick. The defending Stanley Cup champions figure to battle hard to retain that title.
Anaheim vs. Dallas
Records: Ducks (Pacific champions) 54-20-8, 116 points; Stars (second wild card) 40-31-11, 91 points.
Season series: Dallas won two of three.
The skinny: Will the Ducks learn from last season, when were the No. 2 seed before losing to No. 7 Detroit in the first round? The Ducks are led by the dynamic duo of C Ryan Getzlaf (31 goals-56 assists-87 points) and RW Corey Perry (43-39—82). The Ducks were one of the best 5-on-5 teams in the league but, perhaps surprisingly, were bottom third on the power play and a mediocre penalty kill. … The Stars are in the playoffs for the first time in six years thanks in large part to first-year GM Jim Nill’s hiring of coach Lindy Ruff and his trade for Tyler Seguin (37 goals, 84 points). Seguin lifted LW Jamie Benn’s game (34-45—79).
San Jose vs. Los Angeles
Records: Sharks (second in Pacific) 51-22-9, 111 points; Kings (third in Pacific) 46-28-8, 100 points.
Season series: The Kings won three of five.
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 of them by one goal, one in overtime. The Sharks are dynamic offensively, led by centers Joe Thornton (76 points) and Joe Pavelski (79) and LW Patrick Marleau (70). … The Kings, one of the lowest-scoring teams in the playoffs, boast a top-notch defense and a goalie, in Jonathan Quick, who outplayed Sharks G Antti Niemi last year. The top Kings line of Anze Kopitar centering Marian Gaborik and Justin Williams has started to impress. Gaborik was acquired in a trade-deadline move from Columbus.
|Detroit||10/26/14 8:30 AM|
|Buffalo||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|St. Louis||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Houston||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Minnesota||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Seattle||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Baltimore||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Miami||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Chicago||10/26/14 12:00 PM|
|Philadelphia||10/26/14 3:05 PM|
|Oakland||10/26/14 3:25 PM|
|Indianapolis||10/26/14 3:25 PM|
|Green Bay||10/26/14 7:30 PM|
|Washington||10/27/14 7:30 PM|
|(18) East Carolina||31|
|So Florida||6:00 PM|
|(6) Oregon||9:00 PM|
|North Texas||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|UAB||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|Rutgers||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|Maryland||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|Texas||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|(11) Kansas State|
|Minnesota||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|Memphis||10/25/14 11:00 AM|
|North Carolina||10/25/14 11:30 AM|
|San Jose St||10/25/14 12:00 PM|
|Northern Ill||10/25/14 12:00 PM|
|(25) UCLA||10/25/14 1:00 PM|
|Akron||10/25/14 1:00 PM|
|Massachusetts||10/25/14 1:00 PM|
|Ohio U||10/25/14 1:00 PM|
|Ga Southern||10/25/14 1:00 PM|
|Kent State||10/25/14 1:30 PM|
|Oregon State||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|(1) Miss State||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Georgia Tech||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|(22) West Virginia||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Texas Tech||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Michigan||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|(8) Michigan State|
|Boston College||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Central Mich||10/25/14 2:30 PM|
|Vanderbilt||10/25/14 3:00 PM|
|Old Dominion||10/25/14 3:00 PM|
|UNLV||10/25/14 3:00 PM|
|Temple||10/25/14 4:00 PM|
|(15) Arizona||10/25/14 5:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||10/25/14 6:00 PM|
|Wyoming||10/25/14 6:00 PM|
|Syracuse||10/25/14 6:00 PM|
|Texas State||10/25/14 6:00 PM|
|(3) Ole Miss||10/25/14 6:15 PM|
|(4) Alabama||10/25/14 6:30 PM|
|So Carolina||10/25/14 6:30 PM|
|(13) Ohio State||10/25/14 7:00 PM|
|(20) USC||10/25/14 9:00 PM|
|(14) Arizona State||10/25/14 9:45 PM|
|Nevada||10/25/14 10:59 PM|
|(2) Florida State||10/30/14 6:30 PM|
|Troy||10/30/14 6:30 PM|
|Hamilton||10/25/14 3:00 PM|
|Brt Columbia||10/25/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||10/31/14 6:30 PM|
|Winnipeg||11/1/14 3:00 PM|
|Brt Columbia||11/1/14 6:00 PM|
|Toronto||11/2/14 11:00 AM|