Penguins, Lightning Advance to Eastern Finals

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The Pittsburgh Penguins dispatched the top seeded Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals in six games to reach their fourth Eastern Conference finals since 2007. The Tampa Bay Lightning are going to their fourth Eastern Conference Finals since 2003. Both teams have won a Stanley Cup in those trips and both are playing hot.

While the Penguins have been getting contributions from all four lines, their attack is led as always by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Young rookie goalie Matt Murray has been a revelation in net, as the Pens have paired their Stanley Cup Playoffs-leading offense with some stout defending as well, led by Kris Letang. For the Bolts, they too have a goalie who has been standing on his head in the form of Vezina Trophy nominee Ben Bishop, who is coming off another playoff shutout in Game 5 of their series with the New York Islanders. It remains unclear if star Steven Stamkos will be available to play, but the young Nikita Kucherov and Tyler Johnson have been picking up the slack in a big way.

Game 1 is this Friday night at 8 pm in Pittsburgh. It figures to be a fast and aggressive series. The best place to get all the top Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning Stanley Cup Playoffs gear is always SHOP.NHL.com.