Every Eastern Conference match up would involve a rivalry. Some are historic, some divisional and some regional. Heck, most of them are a combination of the three.
1. Boston vs. 8. Montreal
One of the NHL's most storied rivalries, even if it's one of those "one team gets consistently owned" situations. This time, the Bruins would be the favorite, though.
2. New Jersey Devils vs. 7. New York Rangers
Cannot say that this would be the most "exhilarating" pairing simply because the two teams have been meeting in the playoffs a lot. The Sean Avery - Martin Brodeur flogging would be nauseating.
3. Washington Capitals vs. 6. Carolina Hurricanes
OK, this one's not much of a rivalry but they are in the same division. Can't win them all.
4. Philadelphia Flyers vs. 5. Pittsburgh Penguins
This would be a doozy. Last year, the Pens roasted the Flyers, winning their Eastern Conference Finals series 4-1. As you probably saw way too early this morn-afternoon, these teams hate each other. It would be a great - and nerve wracking - Battle of Pennsylvania.