The Chicago Blackhawks have been swept out of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Nashville Predators did what they haven't been able to do for years when they eliminated the Blackhawks Thursday night. It's the first time Chicago has been swept out of the playoffs since 1993, and it's definitely uncharacteristic for this era of annual Blackhawks dominance. But, the Predators figured out how to get past their arch rival -- read about it here.
Meanwhile, the Columbus Blue Jackets are done, too. The Pittsburgh Penguins, even without some key players like Kris Letang, proved to be way too much for the Blue Jackets to handle. Sidney Crosby already has 2 goals and 5 assists for 7 points in 5 playoff games as the Penguins look ripe for another deep playoff run.
The Calgary Flames were swept out earlier this week by the Anaheim Ducks. Right now a Ducks-Penguins Stanley Cup final doesn't seem far-fetched after the way both teams played in the opening round. But there is a long way to go.
Three teams face elimination games this weekend.
NHL Playoffs roundup:
- The Montreal Canadiens now trail the New York Rangers 3-2.
- The Edmonton Oilers have grabbed a 3-1 series lead over the San Jose Sharks.
- The Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals are tied 2-2.
- The Ottawa Senators have a 3-1 lead over the Boston Bruins.
- The St. Louis Blues are up 3-1 over the Minnesota Wild.
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