Every year in the playoffs there is a team that makes a surprisingly deep run. No-one would really have picked the Tampa Bay Lightning as a surprise team a couple of months ago, but injuries have hammered them pretty badly, to the point where they have had to play the opening two rounds without top scorer Steven Stamkos. Veteran defenseman Anton Stralman has also been out since March, leaving the Bolts looking like a pretty anemic bunch heading into the playoffs. They have been magnificent, though, and have now pretty comfortably booked their ticket to the Eastern Conference Final after dumping the Florida Panthers and the New York islanders. Their reward for making it back to the Conference Final for a second straight year will be a date with either the Pittsburgh Penguins or the Washington Capitals. Both of those teams present a very tough challenge, but they may well have beaten the stuffing out of each other by the time the next round begins. Let’s take a look at the potential NHL odds match-ups, and at which team will be most likely to represent the East in the Stanley Cup Final.
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