Second round series not completely set

Apr 24, 2001 8:11 AM

The NHL’s second season is in full swing as we are getting close to finding out who advances to the second round playoffs.

As of our deadline on Monday, two teams remain undecided as Pittsburgh leads Washington 3-2 and Los Angeles also has a 3-2 edge against Detroit going into Monday nights action.

Here is a look at all of the match-up possibilities.

The only match-up that is confirmed at this time is the New Jersey Devils will open at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Toronto has been resting for several days after a convincing four-game sweep from the second-seeded Ottawa Senators.

The top-seeded Devils advanced after knocking off No. 8 Carolina Hurricanes in six games.

During the regular season, the Leafs and Devils split their series going 1-1-1. New Jersey scored 288 goals on the season compared to Toronto’s 228.

Both teams shine on defense due to some outstanding goaltending. New Jersey, with Marty Brodeur in the nets, had 2.32 goals against average while Curtis Joseph (Cujo) for Toronto allowed 2.39 goals during the regular season.

However, so far in the playoffs, Cujo leads the playoff contenders with an outstanding 0.71 average while Brodeur ranks second in the playoffs at 1.34.

Last year’s Conn Smythe Winner Scott Stevens continues to be the most feared hitter on the ice. During the Carolina series he delivered 17 bone-crushing blows causing two concussions.

This is going to be a good series, however, the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils hold the edge. Pick: New Jersey in 6.

The Buffalo Sabres are waiting in the wings to see who they will play next. The Sabres would have the home-ice advantage if Pittsburgh wins, however if the Washington Capitals can win two straight from the Penguins, then Buffalo would have to start the series in Washington.

The Sabres held the regular season advantage against the Caps 2-1-1, but went 1-3 versus the Pens.

A Sabres-Penguins match-up favors the over every game with the high-powered scoring duo of Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr while a Sabres-Capital series favors the under with the goaltending supplied by Buffalo’s Dominik Hasek and Washington’s Olaf Kolzig.

If Buffalo plays Washington then the pick is Buffalo in six. A Buffalo-Pittsburgh match-up will be Pittsburgh in six.

In the Western Conference, things are a little more complicated at deadline time.

If the Los Angeles Kings defeat the Detroit Red Wings then Colorado would face the Kings and Dallas would have home-ice advantage against St. Louis.

Should Detroit come back to beat Los Angeles then Colorado would open at home against St. Louis and Dallas would travel to Detroit.

Colorado will defeat either Los Angeles or St. Louis while Dallas will beat St. Louis but would lose a tough series against Detroit.