<
>

Feeling the final four familiarity

The Stanley Cup playoffs resume Saturday with Game 1 in both the Eastern (Bruins-Penguins) and Western Conference (Kings-Blackhawks) Finals. FROM ELIAS: The final four NHL teams won each of the previous four Stanley Cups: the Kings last year, Bruins in 2011, Blackhawks in 2010, and Penguins in 2009. There has been only one "final four" in NHL/NBA playoff history in which each team won its league championship in one of the previous four seasons: the 1945 NHL postseason (Bruins, Red Wings, Canadiens and Maple Leafs).

Western Conference Finals – Game 1

Kings at Blackhawks, 5 ET

* 7th time that a defending Stanley Cup Champion (Kings) will meet the current Presidents' Trophy winner (Blackhawks) in a playoff series since the Presidents' Trophy was first awarded in 1985-86.

In the 6 previous meetings, defending Cup champs and Presidents' Trophy winners each won 3 series.

* Teams have met just once before in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Chicago defeated Los Angeles 4-1 in a 1974 Quarterfinal series.

* Blackhawks: won 2 of 3 regular-season meetings

* Blackhawks: 40-41 on penalty kill this postseason

* Kings: have not allowed more than 3 goals in any of their last 33 playoff games dating to last year, an NHL record

* Jonathan Quick (LA): leads NHL in GAA (1.50 .. 20 GA/799 min), save percentage (.948 .. 362 saves/382 shots) and shutouts (3).

Eastern Conference Finals – Game 1

Bruins at Penguins, 8 ET

* 5th playoff series meeting between Bruins & Penguins (1st since 1992 Wales Conf. Finals); teams have split 4 previous playoff series

* Penguins: 3-0-0 vs Bruins during regular season; won last 6 reg. season meetings vs Bruins

* Penguins: lead 2013 playoffs in total goals (47), goals per game (4.27), power play goals (13) and power play pct (28.3)

* Sidney Crosby & Pascal Dupuis (PIT): tied for playoff goal lead entering Conference Finals with 7 each (tied with Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp)

* David Krejci (BOS): leads playoffs in scoring entering Conference Finals with 17 points (5 G, 12 A)

* Torey Krug (BOS): tied for playoff goal lead among rookies with 4 (tied with Senators’ Jean-Gabriel Pageau); has yet to score a regular season goal in his career