Playoff Time (with blank bracket!)

To say the NHL season ended with a bang would be an understatement. With 15 games featuring all 30 teams scheduled for April 8th, the conclusion for the 2011-12 NHL season was set up to be packed with action, and the addition of 11 teams still fighting for playoff seeding made it all the more exciting. At the end of over 12 straight hours of hockey, these are the final match-ups for the first round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs!

– New York Rangers (1st seed, Atlantic Division champions) vs. Ottawa Senators (8th seed)
– Boston Bruins (2nd seed, Northeast Division champions) vs. Washington Capitals (7th seed)
– Florida Panthers (3rd seed, Southeast Division champions) vs. New Jersey Devils (6th seed)
– Pittsburgh Penguins (4th seed) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (5th seed)

– Vancouver Canucks (1st seed, Northwest Division & Presidents' Trophy champions) vs. Los Angeles Kings (8th seed)
– St. Louis Blues (2nd seed, Central Division champions) vs. San Jose Sharks (7th seed)
– Phoenix (3rd seed, Pacific Division champions) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (6th seed)
– Nashville Predators (4th seed) vs. Detroit Red Wings (5th seed)

Here's a lovely bracket I made for the playoffs (note: after the first round, the teams are reseeded, so the highest remaining seed will play the lowest remaining seed, then second highest will play second lowest, etc.); here's a PDF copy of it that you can print out.
Enjoy! Tell us what your picks are (on twitter!), and feel free to share the bracket!

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