In an evenly matched playoff series, experience can be the critical, deciding factor. That plays perfectly into the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks and the Los Angeles Kings, who are the only teams with at least 1,200 combined games of playoff experience. But it could be a problem for the New York Islanders and the Philadelphia Flyers, each of whom are below 300.
As each first-round series moves into its critical stages in the coming days, this experience factor may play an enhanced role. Using the previous career totals of each team's active rosters, the series where experience might play the largest role can be revealed, along with the individual players who are most likely to make the difference. Here they are, in ascending order: