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Selection for each NHL first-round playoff series

Welcome to 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs! The first round begins on Saturday with game 1 of the Washington Capitals– –Boston Bruins Series.

There is a lot of history in many of these matchups as the NHL uses an intradivisional format for the first two rounds before bracketing the last four for the semifinals. Click here More information about the format and all other questions about the tournament.

We have gathered our group of NHL experts to hear their selections on each series in the first official round of the 2021 playoffs, along with the number of games it takes to get to each result.

More: Playoff schedule | Series preview
Goalie Confidence Index | Guide for Expired Fans

Jump to:
East: PIT-NYI | WSH-BOS
Central: CAR-NSH | FLA-TB
North: TOR MTL | EDM-WPG
West: COL-STL | VGS-MIN

East department

Sean Allen: Penguins in six
Ben Arledge: Islands in seven
Pierre Becquey: Penguins in seven
John Buccigross: Penguins in seven
Sach Chandan: Penguins in six
Linda Cohn: Penguins in seven
Emily Kaplan: Islands in seven
Nabil Karim: Islands in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Penguins in seven
Don La Greca: Islands in six
Steve Levy: Islands in seven
Vince Masi: Penguins in seven
Victoria Matiash: Penguins in six
Barry Melrose: Penguins in six
Arda Ocal: Islands in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Penguins in six

Consensus Pick: Penguins (10/16)


Sean Allen: Bruins in seven
Ben Arledge: Bruins in six
Pierre Becquey: Bruins in six
John Buccigross: Bruins in seven
Sach Chandan: Bruins in six
Linda Cohn: Bruins in six
Emily Kaplan: Capitals in seven
Nabil Karim: Bruins in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Capitals in six
Don La Greca: Bruins in six
Steve Levy: Bruins in seven
Vince Masi: Bruins in six
Victoria Matiash: Bruins in seven
Barry Melrose: Bruins in six
Arda Ocal: Bruins in six
Greg Wyshynski: Bruins in six

Consensus Pick: Bruins (14/16)

Central department

Sean Allen: Sticks in four
Ben Arledge: Sticks in five
Pierre Becquey: Sticks in five
John Buccigross: Sticks in six
Sach Chandan: Sticks in four
Linda Cohn: Sticks in five
Emily Kaplan: Sticks in five
Nabil Karim: Sticks in six
Tim Kavanagh: Sticks in five
Don La Greca: Sticks in four
Steve Levy: Sticks in six
Vince Masi: Sticks in five
Victoria Matiash: Sticks in six
Barry Melrose: Sticks in seven
Arda Ocal: Sticks in five
Greg Wyshynski: Sticks in five

Consensus Pick: Hurricanes (16/16)


Sean Allen: Panther in five
Ben Arledge: Lightning in six
Pierre Becquey: Panther in seven
John Buccigross: Lightning in seven
Sach Chandan: Lightning in seven
Linda Cohn: Panther in seven
Emily Kaplan: Lightning in seven
Nabil Karim: Lightning in six
Tim Kavanagh: Panther in seven
Don La Greca: Lightning in seven
Steve Levy: Lightning in five
Vince Masi: Lightning in seven
Victoria Matiash: Lightning in seven
Barry Melrose: Panther in six
Arda Ocal: Lightning in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Lightning in six

Consensus pick: Blitz (11/16)

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Greg Wyshynski breaks the NHL playoff format this season and how it differs from previous years.

North department

Sean Allen: Sheets in five
Ben Arledge: Sheets in five
Pierre Becquey: Leaves in six
John Buccigross: Leaves in six
Sach Chandan: Leaves in seven
Linda Cohn: Sheets in five
Emily Kaplan: Leaves in six
Nabil Karim: Sheets in five
Tim Kavanagh: Leaves in four
Don La Greca: Sheets in five
Steve Levy: Sheets in five
Vince Masi: Sheets in five
Victoria Matiash: Leaves in six
Barry Melrose: Sheets in five
Arda Ocal: Leaves in six
Greg Wyshynski: Leaves in four

Consensus Pick: Maple Leafs (16/16)


Sean Allen: Oiler in six
Ben Arledge: Oilers in seven
Pierre Becquey: Oilers in seven
John Buccigross: Oilers in seven
Sach Chandan: Oilers in five
Linda Cohn: Oiler in six
Emily Kaplan: Jets in six
Nabil Karim: Oiler in six
Tim Kavanagh: Jets in seven
Don La Greca: Oilers in seven
Steve Levy: Oilers in seven
Vince Masi: Oilers in seven
Victoria Matiash: Oiler in six
Barry Melrose: Oilers in seven
Arda Ocal: Oiler in six
Greg Wyshynski: Jets in seven

Consensus Pick: Oilers (13/16)

West Division

Sean Allen: Avs in four
Ben Arledge: Avs in four
Pierre Becquey: Avs in five
John Buccigross: Avs in six
Sach Chandan: Blues in six
Linda Cohn: Avs in six
Emily Kaplan: Avs in five
Nabil Karim: Avs in five
Tim Kavanagh: Avs in seven
Don La Greca: Avs in five
Steve Levy: Avs in seven
Vince Masi: Avs in four
Victoria Matiash: Avs in five
Barry Melrose: Avs in six
Arda Ocal: Avs in six
Greg Wyshynski: Avs in five

Consensus selection: Avalanche (15/16)


Sean Allen: Wild in seven
Ben Arledge: Knight in six
Pierre Becquey: Knight in five
John Buccigross: Knight in seven
Sach Chandan: Knight in five
Linda Cohn: Knight in six
Emily Kaplan: Knight in six
Nabil Karim: Knight in six
Tim Kavanagh: Knight in seven
Don La Greca: Knight in six
Steve Levy: Knight in six
Vince Masi: Knight in six
Victoria Matiash: Knight in six
Barry Melrose: Knight in five
Arda Ocal: Knight in five
Greg Wyshynski: Knight in seven

Consensus selection: Golden Knights (15/16)


Select Stanley Cup

Sean Allen: avalanche
Ben Arledge: Golden Knights
Pierre Becquey: Maple leaves
John Buccigross: avalanche
Sach Chandan: Maple leaves
Linda Cohn: Golden Knights
Emily Kaplan: capital Cities
Nabil Karim: Golden Knights
Tim Kavanagh: Hurricanes
Don La Greca: Golden Knights
Steve Levy: Golden Knights
Vince Masi: avalanche
Victoria Matiash: avalanche
Barry Melrose: Golden Knights
Arda Ocal: Maple leaves
Greg Wyshynski: Maple leaves

Top Pick: Golden Knights (six)


Choose Conn Smythe

Sean Allen: Gabriel Landeskog
Ben Arledge: Mark Stone
Pierre Becquey: Auston Matthews
John Buccigross: Mikko Rantanen
Sach Chandan: Auston Matthews
Linda Cohn: Mark Stone
Emily Kaplan: Alex Ovechkin
Nabil Karim: Mark Stone
Tim Kavanagh: Sebastian Aho
Don La Greca: Marc-Andre Fleury
Steve Levy: Marc-Andre Fleury
Vince Masi: Mikko Rantanen
Victoria Matiash: Nathan MacKinnon
Barry Melrose: Alex Pietrangelo
Arda Ocal: Mitchell Marner
Greg Wyshynski: Auston Matthews

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