Will Crosby, Nash score again?


Decompressed yet? Heart rate back to normal after the wackiness of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs?

Well, don't get too comfortable, because the second round is here. Let the roller coaster begin anew.

Here's a look at the top storylines of the second round.

Who will score first: Rick Nash or Sidney Crosby?

The two are both two-time Olympic gold medalists and among the world's finest players. Crosby is going to win his second Hart Trophy as league MVP. But even though both Nash's New York Rangers and Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins emerged to face each other in the second round, the ongoing goal-scoring struggles for the two will continue to dominate discussion, especially if the drought continues for one or both. Crosby has gone 11 consecutive postseason games without a goal, while Nash has scored just once in 19 playoff games since being acquired by the Rangers in summer 2012. Both teams have shown they have the depth to win without scoring from their most talented forward, but logic suggests two things. First, the drought can't go on forever. (Can it?) And the player who emerges from the goal-scoring funk first or in a more dominant fashion exponentially helps his team's chances of moving on to the conference finals. Our guess? Crosby's more due than Nash.

Who will play goal for the Ducks?

In a first round absolutely chock-full of dramatic comebacks and mediocre goaltending, perhaps the biggest coaching decision of the second round rests with Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau, who rolled the dice in the first round and started rookie Frederik Andersen ahead of veteran starter Jonas Hiller and ├╝ber-prospect John Gibson, who shone in a brief late-season stint with the Ducks. Andersen was good enough to get the Ducks to Game 6, but faltered and was replaced by Hiller, who was terrific as Anaheim overcame a late two-goal deficit in Dallas to win 5-4 in overtime on Nick Bonino's goal and dispatch the Stars. Now what? Logic suggests that Hiller will start against the red-hot Los Angeles Kings in the first postseason series between the two California neighbors, but if there's one thing Boudreau has shown, it's that he's not afraid to pull the plug on a goaltender. In other words, what it looks like in Game 1 might not be at all what it looks like later in the series.

Will the Kings continue to steamroll?

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