Melrose: Predators need Rinne for any chance vs. Sharks (0:52)
John Russell/Getty Images
2hJohn Buccigross

Tune in, fans: Playoffs and music go together

John Buccigross combines his favorite art forms, hockey and music, into an appreciation of each playoff team. The Red Wings are in Emo mode, while the beat goes on for contenders like the Caps.

Alex Brandon/AP Photo
1dAlexa Dettelbach, ESPN Stats & Information

Penguins-Capitals: A one-sided rivalry resumes

The Penguins have had the postseason edge on the Capitals. Here's the background on the rivalry between the teams and their top stars.

Sharp: Looking forward to playing St. Louis (1:50)
Islanders coach takes puck to the face (0:23)

Second round, Boychuk, Stamkos, Pritchard

The ESPN.com NHL team share their thoughts on second-round playoff matchups, and what could become of the Ducks after another early exit. Plus, we hear from Islanders D Johnny Boychuk, Lightning C Steven Stamkos and "Keeper of the Cup" Phil Pritchard.

Wilson's stellar goal helps Predators win Game 7 (0:34)
Rinne the reason for Predators advancing (1:00)
Tavares' wrister chases Bishop in Islanders' win (0:19)
Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Celebrities who really love hockey

Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of watching the NHL playoffs? Same for these famous fans, who go to great lengths to follow their favorite teams -- all while doing their day jobs.

Conn Smythe Trophy prediction (1:10)
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
1dCraig Custance

Nine biggest surprises of the first round

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw many surprising star turns (and vice versa). Craig Custance identifies the biggest as Round 2 begins.

Playoff preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars (1:53)
Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Annoying lies and sharp truths of the first round

Stable goaltending is a must-have and the coaches' challenge is a good thing, right? Wrong, and those are just two of the harsh playoff realities we're repeating and expounding on as the opening round winds down.

Twitter pledge backfires on Rangers fan (1:51)
What the Blackhawks need to do to return as contenders (1:35)
Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images
2dCraig Custance

Blues end incredible run by Blackhawks

A team that has dominated the playoffs for most of the past six years is heading home, while an old challenger finally gets a chance to test its mettle beyond the first round.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
3dCraig Custance

Three keys to offseason: Chicago Blackhawks

With the Blackhawks eliminated from the playoffs, what should they do this offseason to get back on track? Craig Custance identifies the keys.

Inside the NHL: Juggernauts collide, playoff preview (10:13)


Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

Penguins answer nicely in the second and it's tied at two through 40 minutes at Verizon Center. As if we'd expect anything different.

Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

Nice steal and pass from Connor Sheary to Sidney Crosby in front but Crosby sends shot high in last minute of the second.

Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

Guess this series is going to be okay. With 7:50 left in second T.J. Oshie takes advantage of Olli Maatta miscue and beats Murry high glove.

Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun

Man I don't remember Oshie skating that well. Blew down the right side and went roof daddy on Murray. Verizon Center crowd approves

Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun

Kunitz got away from Carlson and feeds a beauty to Malkin. This game has shifted in a hurry. But truth is, Pitt has had a strong period

Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

And 57 seconds later Chris Kunitz great feed to Evgeni Malkin who rips backhand upstairs to give Pens first lead of the series.

Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

What a move by Nick Bonino to get around Orlov and Schmidt and Ben Lovejoy, Ben Lovejoy, taps in rebound to tie it at 1-1.

Pierre LeBrun @Real_ESPNLeBrun

Going to be a theme all series to avoid taking penalties given how dangerous these two PP's are. Letang to the box. Caps PP

Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

Small pushback late in first from Pens but Caps the better team for most of the first. They lead 1-0 out-shooting Pens 15-9.