The 2012-13 NHL regular season is officially in the books, with 16 teams securing bids to the postseason. With the schedule having been announced via an official press release from the NHL, the world now prepares for the hunt for the Stanley Cup.
The question is, when and where can you watch the opening games?
Every fan will have eyes glued to the NHL's postseason, regardless of team affiliation. With underdogs looking to capitalize on one of the most unpredictable times of the year, and favorites looking to solidify their star status, there will be no better time for hockey fans to tune in.
So when will the games be held and where should you look? Let's find out.
(No. 8) New York Islanders at (No. 1) Pittsburgh Penguins
Time: Wednesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, TSN
Records: New York Islanders (24-17-7, 55 points) at Pittsburgh Penguins (36-12-0, 72 points)
The first-round series between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins pits two teams on opposite ends of the spectrum. The Islanders barely made it into the postseason behind young star John Tavares, while the Penguins have dominated the Eastern Conference for months.
The question is, which team will win a seven-game series?
Pittsburgh won the regular-season series by a count of 3-1, with its lone loss coming on Jan. 29. Since then, the Penguins have outscored the Islanders by a margin of 14-5 in three games.
Will the underdog prevail? Or can the Penguins make it one step closer to their second Stanley Cup crown since 2009?
Tune into NBCSN or TSN on Wednesday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m. ET for Game 1.
(No. 7) Ottawa Senators at (No. 2) Montreal Canadiens
Time: Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. ET
TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS
Records: Ottawa Senators (25-17-6, 56 points) at Montreal Canadiens (29-14-5, 63 points)
The Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens open up the 2013 NHL playoffs with an all-Canada first-round series. This is the first time that the two sides have ever met during the postseason.
So which team will earn Canadian supremacy?
The Canadiens enter this series as the second-seeded team in the Eastern Conference, having earned 63 points. The Senators, meanwhile, barely made their way into the postseason for their second consecutive berth.
Tune into CNBC, CBC or RDS on Thursday, May 2, at 7 p.m. ET to find out which team will earn the early edge.
(No. 6) New York Rangers at (No. 3) Washington Capitals
Time: Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, TSN
Records: New York Rangers (26-18-4, 56 points) at Washington Capitals (27-18-3, 57 points)
The New York Rangers finished with just one point less than the Washington Capitals during the 2012-13 NHL regular season. By winning the Southeast Division, however, the Capitals have secured the third seed.
Will we see an upset of seemingly evenly matched teams?
The Rangers are led by an elite goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, while the Capitals are fronted by the dominant offensive duo of Alexander Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. That will be the story of this series, as it'll be offense and defense meeting in finest form.
As for who will earn the 1-0 edge, tune into NBCSN or TSN on Thursday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. ET to find out.
(No. 5) Toronto Maple Leafs at (No. 4) Boston Bruins
Time: Wednesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. ET
TV: CNBC, CBC, RDS
Records: Toronto Maple Leafs (26-17-5, 57 points) at Boston Bruins (28-14-6, 62 points)
For the first time since 2004, the Toronto Maple Leafs have made it to the NHL playoffs. The Boston Bruins, meanwhile, are looking to win their second Stanley Cup in three seasons.
Who will gain the early edge as Game 1 comes to Boston?
The TD Garden is likely to be an emotional place, which should bode well for a Bruins team that has thrived defensively. As for the Maple Leafs, they're likely to be in an emotional state of their own, as they're making a rare appearance in the postseason.
Tune into CNBC, CBC or RDS on Wednesday, May 1, at 7 p.m. ET to find out which team will take Game 1.
(No. 8) Minnesota Wild at (No. 1) Chicago Blackhawks
Time: Tuesday, April 30, at 8 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, CBC
Records: Minnesota Wild (26-19-3, 55 points) at Chicago Blackhawks (36-7-5, 77 points)
The Chicago Blackhawks enter the 2013 NHL playoffs with the most points in the league. The Minnesota Wild, meanwhile, have barely made it into the postseason with 55 points.
So which of these preseason favorites will emerge victorious?
The Blackhawks have been viewed as the league's elite ever since their 24-game points streak to open up the season. The Wild, led by free-agent acquisitions Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Dany Heatley, were expected to be title contenders.
Tune into NBCSN or CBC on Tuesday, April 30, at 8 p.m. ET to find out if the Wild can pull off a Game 1 upset.
(No. 7) Detroit Red Wings at (No. 2) Anaheim Ducks
Time: Tuesday, April 30, at 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, TSN
Records: Detroit Red Wings (24-16-8, 56 points) at Anaheim Ducks (30-12-6, 66 points)
The Detroit Red Wings have made the 2013 NHL playoffs in every season since 1991. The Anaheim Ducks have now made the postseason in six of their past eight seasons, winning the Stanley Cup in 2007.
So which of the Western Conference's elite will emerge victorious?
The Ducks have been hot from the start of the season, rivaling the Chicago Blackhawks as the best team in the West. The Red Wings have started slow, but have since overcome injuries to win four games in a row to enter the postseason.
Tune into NBCSN or TSN on Tuesday, April 30, at 10:30 p.m. ET to see these two postseason mainstays do battle!
(No. 6) San Jose Sharks at (No. 3) Vancouver Canucks
Time: Wednesday, May 1, at 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN, TSN
Records: San Jose Sharks (25-16-7, 57 points) at Vancouver Canucks (26-15-7, 59 points)
In a clash between two of the NHL's recent postseason underachievers, the San Jose Sharks will play the Vancouver Canucks. This will be a rematch of the 2011 Western Conference Final, which the Canucks won 4-1.
Will we see a repeat of that result?
Vancouver and San Jose have both lost two games in a row, which displays their lack of momentum. With that being said, both of these squads are supremely talented and in search of a Stanley Cup championship.
Tune into NBCSN or TSN on Wednesday, May 1, at 10:30 p.m. ET.
(No. 5) Los Angeles Kings at (No. 4) St. Louis Blues
Time: Tuesday. April 30 at 8 p.m. ET
TV: CNBC, CBC
Records: Los Angeles Kings (27-16-5, 59 points) at St. Louis Blues (29-17-2, 60 points)
In a rematch of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals, the Los Angeles Kings will travel to play the St. Louis Blues. The Kings, coming off of their improbable run to the 2012 Stanley Cup title, will be looking to take out the upstart Blues.
The question is, who is the true underdog in this clash?
During the regular season, the Kings swept the season series against the Blues. With that being said, the Blues have won seven of their past 10 games.
On Tuesday, April 30, at 8 p.m. ET, tune into CNBC or CBC to find out which team will earn the early advantage.
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