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Eastern Conference Final Preview: Who Will The Tampa Bay Lightning Face?

With last night's thrilling 5-3 victory, the Tampa Bay Lightning have swept the Washington Capitals right out of the Eastern Conference Semifinals and are moving on to the next round of the playoffs. This was an unexpected outcome to the series, as the Capitals were the favored team, but a very welcome one for Bolts fans. Anything can happen in the playoffs, and I like to think the Bolts gained an advantage in the series by trolling the Caps hard.

After starting the playoffs on such a sluggish note, the Bolts have caught on fire recently. They've now won seven games in a row - the final three games of the first round, and a four-game sweep in the second round - and are getting contributions from every member of their team. They also now have an advantage going into the Eastern Conference Finals, as they get to rest until the series between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Flyers is finished.

So who will the Lightning face, the Bruins or the Flyers? Right now, it's looking like it will be the Boston Bruins, as the Flyers have lost the first three games of the series and were just beaten last night 5-1. Game Four will be played on Friday, meaning the Bolts will have at least a couple days of rest and could (depending how long the series goes) be sitting for as long as a week.

We'll be updating this thread on more updates on the Bruins-Flyers series as it goes along, as well as providing previews of the upcoming Eastern Conference Finals, so check back frequently.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.