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Playoffs Preview and Live Thread - April 30

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Did you enjoy Round 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs? Well there's another round and it starts RIGHT NOW!

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Every season ends eventually, and 8 teams have met their fate already this postseason.  Now the field has narrowed, and just 8 teams have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup this June.  Tonight the first two series of the 2nd Round kick off, so lets get after it!

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, Game 1

7:30 PM EST on NBCSN

The New York Rangers easily dispatched the Pittsburgh Penguins in just 5 games, but with the Rangers as Stanley Cup favorites for many, and the Penguins missing a number of top four defenseman, it's worth asking "should they have beaten the Penguins easier."  Either way the Rangers had some time to rest and lick their wounds while they waited for the slugfest between the Capitals and the Islanders to come to merciful end.  It took a full seven games for the Capitals to finally dispatch the Islanders, and while they come into this series with just two days of rest, they do have momentum and the confidence that they can beat some of the playoffs tougher teams.  These two teams have met in the playoffs 5 times in the last 7 years, but now the biggest question might be if the Capitals can match New York's twitter game.  So far the Rangers are on point, removing all capital letters from the team's social media

Root for the Rangers: If you want life to be more like Be a GM mode in a hockey video game, where you trade away all of your picks for immediate help because future consequences mean nothing!

Root for the Capitals: If you want to see Alex Ovechkin break the world high-jump record.

Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks, Game 1

9:00 PM EST on NBCSN

The PDO-Darling Calgary Flames rode their luck a little longer in a 6-game series victory over the Vancouver Canucks.  While the Canucks were certainly possession favorites heading into the series, they weren't exactly considered playoff heavyweights this season.  The Anaheim Ducks on the other hand... Oh boy. The Ducks are a playoff favorite this season with depth, size, scoring, oh and did we mention size?  Because the Ducks dominant top line weighs 47 pounds more than the Calgary Flames minuscule top liners.  The Ducks, meanwhile, swept the Winnipeg Jets with a few hilarious late game comebacks.  They should be the "heavy" favorites for this series.

Root for the Ducks: To do your part in supporting male pattern baldness

Root for the Flames: If you think tryharding trumps talent