This is the first time in history that the number one seeds from both conferences have lost in the first round. It was also the first time the number one seeds from each conference and each division lost in the first round because of the way the NHL playoffs work. Upsets were abundant and nobody was safe, especially not the Lightning, who were by far the best team of the regular season. Here is what went down in the first round, and how I ended up getting none of the match-ups correct.
Columbus Blue Jackets over Tampa Bay Lightning
In probably the most shocking upset, The Blue Jackets SWEPT the team with by far the best record of the regular season, and they even came very close to taking the all-time record for best regular season record. The Lightning lost in 4, and just like that, the brackets began to fall apart.
Boston Bruins vs Toronto Maple Leafs
This match-up did make it to a game 7, which was very exciting to watch. However, the Bruins ultimately prevailed in a close back-and-forth series. They are set to play the Blue Jackets next round.
Washington Capitals vs Carolina Hurricanes
The defending Stanley Cup champs fell in 7 games to the Carolina Hurricanes; The Caps were one of the division leaders who fell. After being up 3-2 in the series, the Capitals fell victim to a surge from the Carolina Hurricanes, who ultimately ended up taking the series in game 7 OT. Poor, Ovechkin.
New York Islanders vs Pittsburgh Penguins
This was the other series that ended up in a sweep. The Islanders took down the Crosby and the Penguins in 4. It isn't that big of a shock that the Islanders won, but a sweep was not in most people's predictions. The Islanders are set to play the Hurricanes next round.
Winnipeg Jets vs St Louis Blues
The Blues goalie has been playing stellar lately, and that did not change during their first round match-up with the Jets. The series started close, but the Blues prevailed in 6 games.
Nashville Predators vs Dallas Stars
This was another one of the series where the division one-seed went down. The Predators fell in 6 games to the Dallas stars. The Stars played very well and are set to play the Blues next round.
Vegas Golden Knights vs San Jose Sharks
To me, this was the most interesting and exciting series of the first round (even though I ultimately got it wrong). The Golden Knights were up 3-1 in the series, but the Sharks came back to bring it to a game 7. In this game 7, Vegas was up 3-0 in the third period, when they received a 5-minute major penalty, meaning that the Sharks will go on a power play for 5 minutes, and it doesn't end even if they score. Within these 5 minutes, the Sharks scored 4 times, giving them the lead. Right as the third period expired, the Golden Knights scored again to send it to OT. The Sharks eventually scored towards the end of OT and that got them the series win.