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This was the first playoff meeting between the contemporary Ottawa franchise and Boston, and the first Boston-Ottawa series since the 1927 Stanley Cup Finals.Ottawa won all four games in this year's regular season series. In the first game, the Senators gained a 1–0 lead into the third on Bobby Ryan's goal in the second period, however, the Bruins scored twice in the final period with Brad Marchand having the final tally before the game ended 2–1 for Boston.For the eighth season in a row (and the twelfth time in the last fourteen seasons), a California-based team was in the Western Conference Final.
The Toronto Maple Leafs finished as the Eastern Conference's second wild-card, earning 95 points.
The other series match the second and third place teams from the divisions.
In the first two rounds, home ice advantage is awarded to the team with the better seed; in the last two rounds, it is awarded to the team that had the better regular season record.
The following teams qualified for the playoffs: In each round, teams compete in a best-of-seven series following a 2–2–1–1–1 format (scores in the bracket indicate the number of games won in each best-of-seven series).
The team with home ice advantage plays at home for games one and two (and games five and seven, if necessary), and the other team is at home for games three and four (and game six, if necessary).