NHL Playoffs Bracket 2018: Lightning eliminate Devils, 12 teams left on road to Stanley Cup Final

The Stanley Cup playoffs are in full swing, and four teams are out of the field so far. The expansion Vegas Golden Knights proved their mettle with a sweep of the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the new favorite to hoist the Stanley Cup in the process. The Ducks are also done after getting swept by the Sharks, and the Wild joined both on early summer vacation after getting crushed by the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night. 

Then, the Devils joined the fray on Saturday when the Lightning handed them a 2-0 loss to end their series in five.

Four down, 12 left. Who will raise the Stanley Cup at the end of it all? 

We've got you covered with how to stay on top of all the action. Be sure to check out the full TV schedule for the remaining first-round games, and stay on top of our individual first-round series breakdowns across both conferences. Here's the playoff bracket for the first round of matchups as well, showing each team's road to the Stanley Cup Final. 

Illustration by Michael Meredith

NHL Western Conference Playoff Bracket

The biggest, baddest contender out of this crop is obvious -- the reigning conference champion Predators, even though the Avs gave them a run for their money at times. The Jets are vaunted as well, though, what with their electric offense. And Vegas seems bent on breaking more records as a legitimate balanced attack. 

NHL Eastern Conference Playoff Bracket

The juiciest games of this bunch have to be the Bruins-Maple Leafs and Flyers-Penguins tilts, if partially because of the fan bases behind them. Some people thought this could finally be the year the Capitals capitalize (hey, a pun?) on lower playoff expectations, but the Blue Jackets are doing their part to keep D.C. fans disappointed.

*Note: WC = wild card team

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