Stars Seek First Stanley Cup as 2024 Playoffs Reach Second Round

The 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs have reached the second round, with eight teams remaining. Five NHL players and a coach are seeking their first championship win, with series underway and some teams holding leads.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Stars Seek First Stanley Cup as 2024 Playoffs Reach Second Round

Stars Seek First Stanley Cup as 2024 Playoffs Reach Second Round

The 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs have reached the second round, with eight teams remaining in the hunt for hockey's ultimate prize. Among the contenders are five NHL players and a coach seeking their first championship win: Zach Parise and coach Paul Maurice of the Florida Panthers, Joe Pavelski and Ryan Suter of the Dallas Stars, and Brent Burns of the Carolina Hurricanes.

In the first round, the Panthers defeated the Lightning 4-1, the Bruins edged the Maple Leafs 4-3, the Rangers swept the Capitals 4-0, the Stars outlasted the Golden Knights 4-3, the Avalanche beat the Jets 4-1, the Canucks topped the Predators 4-2, and the Oilers eliminated the Kings 4-1. The second-round matchups pit the Panthers against the Bruins, the Rangers against the Hurricanes, the Stars against the Avalanche, and the Canucks against the Oilers.

The Panthers currently lead the Bruins 2-1 in their series, with Game 4 set for May 12. The Rangers hold a commanding 3-1 lead over the Hurricanes, with Game 5 scheduled for May 13. The Stars are up 2-1 on the Avalanche, with Game 4 also slated for May 13. The Canucks and Oilers are tied 1-1, with Game 3 on tap for May 12.

The Panthers finished the regular season with a 52-24-6 record and 110 points, while the Bruins posted a 47-20-15 mark for 109 points. The Rangers topped the league with a 55-23-4 record and 114 points, and the Stars were close behind at 52-21-9 and 113 points. The Hurricanes went 52-23-7 for 111 points, and the Avalanche finished 50-25-7 with 107 points.

Consensus picks have the Panthers over the Bruins, the Rangers over the Hurricanes, the Stars over the Avalanche, and the Oilers over the Canucks. However, the playoffs are known for upsets and surprises. The Stars, led by 39-year-old defenseman Ryan Suter and veteran Joe Pavelski, have already made noise by taking a 2-1 series lead over the favored Avalanche. "We have a good road formula, but you're putting it up against the best home team in the League; that's always a great test and that's a tough building to play in," said Dallas coach Pete DeBoer.

As the second round unfolds, the five players and one coach seeking their first Stanley Cup will look to keep their championship dreams alive. Parise, Pavelski, Suter, Burns, and Maurice have had long and decorated careers, but the ultimate prize has eluded them thus far. With their teams in strong positions, this could be the year one or more of them finally gets to hoist the Cup.

Key Takeaways

  • 8 teams remain in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs, with 5 players and 1 coach seeking their first championship.
  • Panthers lead Bruins 2-1, Rangers lead Hurricanes 3-1, Stars lead Avalanche 2-1, and Canucks-Oilers series is tied 1-1.
  • Consensus picks favor Panthers, Rangers, Stars, and Oilers to advance to the next round.
  • Stars' Ryan Suter and Joe Pavelski have led their team to a 2-1 series lead over the favored Avalanche.
  • Zach Parise, Joe Pavelski, Ryan Suter, Brent Burns, and Paul Maurice seek their first Stanley Cup win.