The penultimate round of the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs will begin this week, as the Western Conference finals will see the Colorado Avalanche take on the Edmonton Oilers, and the Eastern Conference finals will have the Tampa Bay Lightning facing off against the winner of the Carolina Hurricanes-New York Rangers series.
Given that their series finished earlier, the West teams will get things rolling first, as the Avs will host the Oilers on Tuesday for Game 1 on TNT. The Lightning will travel to take on either the Canes or Rangers in Game 1 of their matchup on Wednesday on ESPN and ESPN+.
To help get you up to speed before the next round begins, we're here with key stats, players to know and more.
Western Conference finals
Schedule (all times Eastern):
Game 1 (at COL): 8 p.m. Tuesday (TNT)
Game 2 (at COL): 8 p.m. Thursday (TNT)
Game 3 (at EDM): 8 p.m. Saturday (TNT)
Game 4 (at EDM): 8 p.m. June 6 (TNT)
Game 5 (at COL): June 8 (TNT)*
Game 6 (at EDM): June 10 (TNT)*
Game 7 (at COL): June 12 (TNT)*
* If necessary
Leading playoff scorers:
Notes from ESPN Stats & Information
The Oilers (4.33) and Avalanche (4.30) rank 1-2 in goals per game this postseason. This is the first conference finals matchup since 1989 featuring teams entering with 4.0 goals per game or better in the postseason. (Calgary Flames-Chicago Blackhawks was the matchup in 1989.) The Oilers have scored 52 goals in the postseason, the most by any team through 12 games since the 1994 Rangers (52), who went on to win the Stanley Cup. These two teams are responsible for half the hat tricks this postseason, between Evander Kane (twice), Nathan MacKinnon and Nazem Kadri (once apiece).
The Oilers are making their first conference finals trip since 2006, when Connor McDavid was 9 years old. The Avalanche are making their first appearance in this round since 2002, when MacKinnon was 6.
This matchup features three No. 1 overall picks in McDavid (EDM), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (EDM) and MacKinnon (COL). It's the first conference finals matchup between No. 1 overall picks since 2018 (Steven Stamkos vs. Alex Ovechkin).
McDavid and Leon Draisaitl both have 26 points this postseason. Only Wayne Gretzky has ever had more points through the first 12 games of a postseason; in 1983, he had 34, and in 1985, he had 32.
McDavid (549), Draisaitl (479) and MacKinnon (442) rank 1-2-3 in points accrued during the past five seasons. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first conference finals featuring the top three points leaders over the trailing five seasons since the 1974 Stanley Cup semifinals. (The Bruins had all three players: Phil Esposito, Bobby Orr and Johnny Bucyk.)