2021 NHL playoffs: Picks for each first-round series

Welcome to the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs! The first round gets rolling on Saturday with Game 1 of the Washington Capitals-Boston Bruins series.

There's plenty of history in many of these matchups, as the NHL is using an intradivisional format for the first two rounds, before re-bracketing the final four for the semifinals. Click here for more on the format and all your other questions on the tournament.

We gathered our panel of NHL experts to hear their picks on each series in the first official round of the 2021 playoffs, along with how many games it will take to get to the result in each case.

More: Playoff schedule | Series previews
Goalie Confidence Index | Lapsed fan's guide

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Central: CAR-NSH | FLA-TB

East Division

No. 1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 4 New York Islanders

Sean Allen: Penguins in six
Ben Arledge: Isles in seven
Pierre Becquey: Penguins in seven
John Buccigross: Penguins in seven
Sach Chandan: Penguins in six
Linda Cohn: Penguins in seven
Emily Kaplan: Isles in seven
Nabil Karim: Isles in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Penguins in seven
Don La Greca: Isles in six
Steve Levy: Isles in seven
Vince Masi: Penguins in seven
Victoria Matiash: Penguins in six
Barry Melrose: Penguins in six
Arda Ocal: Isles in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Penguins in six

Consensus pick: Penguins (10/16)

No. 2 Washington Capitals vs. No. 3 Boston Bruins

Sean Allen: Bruins in seven
Ben Arledge: Bruins in six
Pierre Becquey: Bruins in six
John Buccigross: Bruins in seven
Sach Chandan: Bruins in six
Linda Cohn: Bruins in six
Emily Kaplan: Capitals in seven
Nabil Karim: Bruins in seven
Tim Kavanagh: Capitals in six
Don La Greca: Bruins in six
Steve Levy: Bruins in seven
Vince Masi: Bruins in six
Victoria Matiash: Bruins in seven
Barry Melrose: Bruins in six
Arda Ocal: Bruins in six
Greg Wyshynski: Bruins in six

Consensus pick: Bruins (14/16)

Central Division

No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. No. 4 Nashville Predators

Sean Allen: Canes in four
Ben Arledge: Canes in five
Pierre Becquey: Canes in five
John Buccigross: Canes in six
Sach Chandan: Canes in four
Linda Cohn: Canes in five
Emily Kaplan: Canes in five
Nabil Karim: Canes in six
Tim Kavanagh: Canes in five
Don La Greca: Canes in four
Steve Levy: Canes in six
Vince Masi: Canes in five
Victoria Matiash: Canes in six
Barry Melrose: Canes in seven
Arda Ocal: Canes in five
Greg Wyshynski: Canes in five

Consensus pick: Hurricanes (16/16)

No. 2 Florida Panthers vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning

Sean Allen: Panthers in five
Ben Arledge: Lightning in six
Pierre Becquey: Panthers in seven
John Buccigross: Lightning in seven
Sach Chandan: Lightning in seven
Linda Cohn: Panthers in seven
Emily Kaplan: Lightning in seven
Nabil Karim: Lightning in six
Tim Kavanagh: Panthers in seven
Don La Greca: Lightning in seven
Steve Levy: Lightning in five
Vince Masi: Lightning in seven
Victoria Matiash: Lightning in seven
Barry Melrose: Panthers in six
Arda Ocal: Lightning in seven
Greg Wyshynski: Lightning in six

Consensus pick: Lightning (11/16)

North Division

No. 1 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 4 Montreal Canadiens

Sean Allen: Leafs in five
Ben Arledge: Leafs in five
Pierre Becquey: Leafs in six
John Buccigross: Leafs in six
Sach Chandan: Leafs in seven
Linda Cohn: Leafs in five
Emily Kaplan: Leafs in six
Nabil Karim: Leafs in five
Tim Kavanagh: Leafs in four
Don La Greca: Leafs in five
Steve Levy: Leafs in five
Vince Masi: Leafs in five
Victoria Matiash: Leafs in six
Barry Melrose: Leafs in five
Arda Ocal: Leafs in six
Greg Wyshynski: Leafs in four

Consensus pick: Maple Leafs (16/16)

No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Winnipeg Jets

Sean Allen: Oilers in six
Ben Arledge: Oilers in seven
Pierre Becquey: Oilers in seven
John Buccigross: Oilers in seven
Sach Chandan: Oilers in five
Linda Cohn: Oilers in six
Emily Kaplan: Jets in six
Nabil Karim: Oilers in six
Tim Kavanagh: Jets in seven
Don La Greca: Oilers in seven
Steve Levy: Oilers in seven
Vince Masi: Oilers in seven
Victoria Matiash: Oilers in six
Barry Melrose: Oilers in seven
Arda Ocal: Oilers in six
Greg Wyshynski: Jets in seven

Consensus pick: Oilers (13/16)

West Division

No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 4 St. Louis Blues

Sean Allen: Avs in four
Ben Arledge: Avs in four
Pierre Becquey: Avs in five
John Buccigross: Avs in six
Sach Chandan: Blues in six
Linda Cohn: Avs in six
Emily Kaplan: Avs in five
Nabil Karim: Avs in five
Tim Kavanagh: Avs in seven
Don La Greca: Avs in five
Steve Levy: Avs in seven
Vince Masi: Avs in four
Victoria Matiash: Avs in five
Barry Melrose: Avs in six
Arda Ocal: Avs in six
Greg Wyshynski: Avs in five

Consensus pick: Avalanche (15/16)

No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 3 Minnesota Wild

Sean Allen: Wild in seven
Ben Arledge: Knights in six
Pierre Becquey: Knights in five
John Buccigross: Knights in seven
Sach Chandan: Knights in five
Linda Cohn: Knights in six
Emily Kaplan: Knights in six
Nabil Karim: Knights in six
Tim Kavanagh: Knights in seven
Don La Greca: Knights in six
Steve Levy: Knights in six
Vince Masi: Knights in six
Victoria Matiash: Knights in six
Barry Melrose: Knights in five
Arda Ocal: Knights in five
Greg Wyshynski: Knights in seven

Consensus pick: Golden Knights (15/16)

Stanley Cup pick

Sean Allen: Avalanche
Ben Arledge: Golden Knights
Pierre Becquey: Maple Leafs
John Buccigross: Avalanche
Sach Chandan: Maple Leafs
Linda Cohn: Golden Knights
Emily Kaplan: Capitals
Nabil Karim: Golden Knights
Tim Kavanagh: Hurricanes
Don La Greca: Golden Knights
Steve Levy: Golden Knights
Vince Masi: Avalanche
Victoria Matiash: Avalanche
Barry Melrose: Golden Knights
Arda Ocal: Maple Leafs
Greg Wyshynski: Maple Leafs

Top pick: Golden Knights (six)

Conn Smythe pick

Sean Allen: Gabriel Landeskog
Ben Arledge: Mark Stone
Pierre Becquey: Auston Matthews
John Buccigross: Mikko Rantanen
Sach Chandan: Auston Matthews
Linda Cohn: Mark Stone
Emily Kaplan: Alex Ovechkin
Nabil Karim: Mark Stone
Tim Kavanagh: Sebastian Aho
Don La Greca: Marc-Andre Fleury
Steve Levy: Marc-Andre Fleury
Vince Masi: Mikko Rantanen
Victoria Matiash: Nathan MacKinnon
Barry Melrose: Alex Pietrangelo
Arda Ocal: Mitchell Marner
Greg Wyshynski: Auston Matthews