NHL first-round playoff schedule released; quest for Stanley Cup starts Saturday

The abbreviated 56-game NHL schedule is still going on, but the league announced dates (along with some times and television) for the best-of-seven postseason series.

The Stanley Cup playoffs will open Saturday with the Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals as the lone game. There will be three games Sunday, including the Tampa Bay Lightning visiting the Florida Panthers to begin defense of their 2020 championship.

Because North Division games will be played until May 19, those series won’t start until the 19th and 20th.

Teams will play the first two rounds within their division, then the division winners will be seeded based on regular-season points for the semifinal. The winners will play for the Stanley Cup.

The schedule:

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First round

All times p.m. ET. Best of seven. *-if necessary

EAST DIVISION

No 1. Pittsburgh vs. No. 4 NY Islanders

Sunday, May 16: NY Islanders at Pittsburgh, noon, NBC

Tuesday, May 18: NY Islanders at Pittsburgh, 7:30, NBCSN

Thursday, May 20: Pittsburgh at NY Islanders, 7, NBCSN

Saturday, May 22: Pittsburgh at NY Islanders, 3, NBC

*Monday, May 24, NY Islanders at Pittsburgh TBD

*Wednesday, May 26 Pittsburgh at NY Islanders TBD

*Friday, May 28 NY Islanders at Pittsburgh TBD

No. 1 Washington vs. No. 3 Boston

Saturday, May 15: Boston at Washington, 7:15, NBC

Monday, May 17: Boston at Washington, 7:30, NBCSN

Wednesday, May 19: Washington at Boston, 6:30, NBCSN

Friday, May 21: Washington at Boston, 6:30, NBCSN

*Sunday, May 23: Boston at Washington TBD

*Tuesday, May 25: Washington at Boston TBD

*Thursday, May 27: Boston at Washington, TBD

CENTRAL DIVISION

No. 1 Carolina vs. No. 4 Nashville

Monday, May 17: Nashville at Carolina, 8, CNBC

Wednesday, May 19: Nashville at Carolina, 8, CNBC

Friday, May 21: Carolina at Nashville, 7, USA

Sunday, May 23: Carolina at Nashville, TBD

*Tuesday, May 25: Nashville at Carolina, TBD

*Thursday, May 27: Carolina at Nashville, TBD

*Saturday, May 29: Nashville at Carolina TBD

No. 2 Florida vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay

Sunday, May 16: Tampa Bay at Florida, 7:30, NBCSN

Tuesday, May 18: Tampa Bay at Florida, 8 CNBC

Thursday, May 20: Florida at Tampa Bay, 6:30, USA

Saturday, May 22: Florida at Tampa Bay, 12:30, CNBC

*Monday, May 24: Tampa Bay at Florida, TBD

*Wednesday, May 26: Florida at Tampa Bay, TBD

*Friday, May 28: Tampa Bay at Florida, TBD

WEST DIVISION

No. 1 Colorado vs. No. 4 St. Louis

Monday, May 17: St. Louis at Colorado, 10, NBCSN

Wednesday, May 19: St. Louis at Colorado, 10:30, CNBC

Friday, May 21: Colorado at St. Louis, 9:30, USA

Sunday, May 23: Colorado at St. Louis, TBD

*Tuesday, May 25: St. Louis at Colorado, TBD

*Thursday, May 27: Colorado at St. Louis TBD

*Saturday, May 29: St. Louis at Colorado, TBD

No. 2 Vegas vs. No. 3 Minnesota

Sunday, May 16: Minnesota at Vegas, 3, NBC

Tuesday, May 18: Minnesota at Vegas, 10, NBCSN

Thursday, May 20: Vegas at Minnesota, 9:30, NBCSN

Saturday, May 22: Vegas at Minnesota, 8, NBC

*Monday, May 24: Minnesota at Vegas, TBD

*Wednesday, May 26: Vegas at Minnesota, TBD

*Friday, May 28: Minnesota at Vegas, TBD

NORTH DIVISION

No. 1 Toronto vs. No. 4 Montreal

Thursday, May 20: Montreal at Toronto, 7:30, NHL Network

Saturday, May 22: Montreal at Toronto, 7, CNBC

Monday, May 24: Toronto at Montreal, TBD

Tuesday, May 25: Toronto at Montreal, TBD

*Thursday, May 27: Montreal at Toronto, TBD

*Saturday, May 29: Toronto at Montreal, TBD

*Monday, May 31: Montreal at Toronto, TBD

No. 2 Edmonton vs. No. 3 Winnipeg

Wednesday, May 19: Winnipeg at Edmonton, 9, NBCSN

Friday, May 21: Winnipeg at Edmonton, 9, NBCSN

Sunday, May 23: Edmonton at Winnipeg TBD

Monday, May 24: Edmonton at Winnipeg TBD

*Wednesday, May 26: Winnipeg at Edmonton TBD

*Friday, May 28: Edmonton at Winnipeg TBD

*Sunday, May 30: Winnipeg at Edmonton TBD

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL 2021 playoff schedule: Dates, time, TV in quest for Stanley Cup

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