NHL Playoff TV Schedule 2013: Where to Watch Top First-Round Matchups

Dan Talintyre@@dantalintyreSenior Analyst IIApril 29, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 26:  Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks awaits a face-off with Blair Jones #19 of the Calgary Flames at the United Center on April 26, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. The Blackhawks defeated the Flames 3-1.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The 2013 NHL playoffs are only a couple of days away now, and with the first-round matchups and schedule all set, there's definitely a lot to look forward to.

The Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins will enter the playoffs as the favorites to win the Stanley Cup this year—which is understandable given their respective success throughout the regular season. However, as we saw from the Los Angeles Kings' incredible run last year, anything can happen in the postseason and no team is guaranteed an easy victory.

Read on for a full TV schedule for the playoffs this year as well as a breakdown of the best first-round matchups.


2013 NHL Playoff TV Schedule: Round 1

Note: All times listed as ET; schedule courtesy of NHL.com.


Eastern Conference Schedule

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (8) New York Islanders

The Penguins are the most potent team in the Eastern Conference and boast arguably the best offense in the league even without Sidney Crosby for some of it, though he is expected to return at some point having been cleared to practice, with the Penguins hopeful he could be ready for Game 1 (via ESPN).

They'll be largely expected to waltz through the No. 8 seed here, but there is something to like about the Islanders at the moment that makes them a tough matchup.

The Islanders have already made their first postseason since the 2006/07 season and having nothing to lose here. Pittsburgh, however, is under all the pressure that comes with being a No. 1 seed, and with Evgeni Nabokov in stellar form at the moment, may well see their offense struggle.

If that happens, this one could well contain a few surprises for both teams.

Game Date Time Network
Wednesday, May 1 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports, TSN
Friday, May 3 7 p.m. NBC Sports, TSN
Sunday, May 5 12 p.m. NBC, TSN
Tuesday, May 7  7 p.m. NBC Sports, TSN
5* Thursday, May 9  7 p.m. TSN
6* Saturday, May 11
7*  Sunday, May 12  TBD TSN


2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (7) Ottawa Senators

Game Date Time Network
Thursday, May 2  7 p.m. CBC, RDS, CNBC
Friday, May 3  7 p.m. CBC, RDS, CNBC
Sunday, May 5 7 p.m.
CBC, RDS, NBC Sports 
Tuesday, May 7  7 p.m.  CBC, RDS, CNBC 
5*  Thursday, May 9 7 p.m.  CBC, RDS 
6*  Saturday, May 11 TBD  CBC, RDS 
7* Sunday, May 12 TBD  CBC, RDS 


(3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) New York Rangers

Game Date Time Network
1 Thursday, May 2  7:30 p.m.  NBC Sports, TSN
Saturday, May 4 12:30 p.m.  NBC, TSN 
Monday, May 6 7:30 p.m.  NBC Sports, TSN
4 Wednesday, May 8 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports, TSN 
5* Friday, May 10 7:30 p.m.  TSN 
6* Sunday, May 12 TBD TSN 
7* Monday, May 13 TBD TSN


(4) Boston Bruins vs. (5) Toronto Maple Leafs

Game Date Time Network
Wednesday, May 1 7 p.m.  CNBC, CBC, RDS 
Saturday, May 4 7 p.m.  CNBC, CBC, RDS 
Monday, May 6 7 p.m.  CBC, RDS, NHL Network 
Wednesday, May 8 7 p.m.  CBC, RDS, NHL Network 
5* Friday, May 10 7 p.m.  CNBC, CBC, RDS 
6* Sunday, May 12 TBD  CNBC, CBC, RDS 
7*  Monday, May 13 TBD 



Western Conference Schedule

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (8) Minnesota Wild

Game Date Time Network
1 Tuesday, April 30 8 p.m. NBC Sports, CBC 
Friday, May 3  9:30 p.m. NBC Sports, CBC 
Sunday, May 5  3 p.m.  NBC, CBC 
4 Tuesday, May 7  9:30 p.m. NBC Sports, CBC 
5*  Thursday, May 9  TBD  CBC 
6* Saturday, May 11  TBD  CBC 
7* Sunday, May 12  TBD  CBC 


(2) Anaheim Ducks vs. (7) Detroit Red Wings

The Ducks will come into the playoffs this year supremely confident that they can move through to the second round after their impressive regular season.

Anaheim ranks top 10 in both goals scored and goals allowed this year and has simply been one of the most consistent teams in the league all season.

Yet the Red Wings are on a serious roll right now and will like their chances at toppling the No. 2 seed. Detroit has beaten Anaheim twice this year, and more importantly, won on the road in Anaheim, which will give it great confidence heading into its first-round clash.

The Red Wings won their last four games to avoid a first-round showdown with the Blackhawks, which they'll no doubt look to build on against the Ducks here.

Anaheim are favorites and deservedly so, but there's a big chance at an upset brewing—particularly if Detroit can get consistent performances on the blue line.

Game Date Time Network
1 Tuesday, April 30  10:30 p.m.  NBC Sports, TSN 
Thursday, May 2  10 p.m.  NBC Sports, TSN 
Saturday, May 4  7:30 p.m.  NBC Sports, TSN 
Monday, May 6  8 p.m.  CNBC, TSN
5*  Wednesday, May 8  10 p.m. TSN 
6* Friday, May 10  TBD  TSN 
7*  Sunday, May 12   TBD 



(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) San Jose Sharks

Game Date Time Network
1 Wednesday, May 1 10:30 p.m.  TSN, NBC Sports 
Friday, May 3 10 p.m.  TSN, CNBC 
3 Sunday, May 5 10 p.m. 
NBC Sports, TSN 
4 Tuesday, May 7 10 p.m.   CNBC, TSN 
5*  Thursday, May 9 10 p.m.   TSN 
6* Saturday, May 11 TBD  TSN
7*  Monday, May 13  TBD  TSN 


(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Los Angeles Kings

Just like last year, the Los Angeles Kings will enter the NHL playoffs without home-ice advantage. Yet as they showed in 2012, their defense and goaltending from Jonathan Quick is more than capable of pulling out some big performances on the road, which can lead them to postseason success.

St. Louis, however, will be desperate to ensure that doesn't happen, and knows that it must take advantage of the chances they create in this series.

The Blues have won 12 of their last 15 games heading into the postseason, with their goalkeeper Brian Elliot playing tremendously well. He should keep the Blues in the hunt in what should be relatively low-scoring games right throughout the series, which could very well end up going either way.

Low-scoring games only take one or two good chances to win them, and both teams have the talent to do just that—making this a definite must-watch matchup.

Game Date Time Network
1 Tuesday, April 30  8 p.m. CNBC, CBC 
2 Thursday, May 2   9:30 p.m.  CNBC, CBC 
3 Saturday, May 4 
10 p.m.  NBC Sports, CBC 
4 Monday, May 6   10 p.m.  NBC Sports, CBC 
5* Wednesday, May 8  TBD  CBC
6* Friday, May 10  TBD  CBC 
7* Monday, May 13  TBD  CBC 

* denotes if necessary.


Hit me up on Twitter for more sports goodness:   


    Vonn Shows the Grit That's Made Her Golden

    Featured logo

    Vonn Shows the Grit That's Made Her Golden

    Tom Weir
    via Bleacher Report

    SI Report Exposes Predatory Behavior in Mavs Workplace

    Featured logo

    SI Report Exposes Predatory Behavior in Mavs Workplace

    Rob Goldberg
    via Bleacher Report

    The Former NBA Star Building a HS Hoops Dynasty

    Featured logo

    The Former NBA Star Building a HS Hoops Dynasty

    Timothy Bella
    via Bleacher Report

    Hidden Gems Who Will Shine at the Combine

    Featured logo

    Hidden Gems Who Will Shine at the Combine

    Justis Mosqueda
    via Bleacher Report