NHL Playoff TV Schedule 2013: 1st-Round Series Most Worth Our Viewing Time

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IMay 1, 2013

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 24:  Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals is hit by Dan Girardi #5 of the New York Rangers as he scores a goal in an NHL hockey game at Madison Square Garden on March 24, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

The 2013 NHL playoffs will be an entertaining ride from start to finish. There are great matchups on tap for the first round and that should roll all the way through the playoffs. 

Three matchups in the first round have really caught my eye and they will continue to catch it as I plan on watching every minute of these thrillers. 

So, first check out the TV schedule for the entire first round, and then I'll break down the three series that have me the most excited. 


2013 NHL Playoff Round 1 TV Schedule 

All times ET. *If necessary (courtesy of NHL.com)


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

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  CNBC, CBC, RDS 

(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

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  TSN 

(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

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 


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

The Vancouver Canucks are always a tough team to figure, and this year that is especially true.

The Canucks spent most of the regular season playing solid hockey and looking like a team that could make noise in the postseason. Then they limped to the finish line by going 5-4-1 to end the season.

While that late form doesn't inspire a lot of confidence in the Canucks chances, Roberto Luongo's play in goal has. The veteran has been in good form and his steady play will help the Canucks get back on track.

However, being on track might not be the right track for the Canucks in this series. The Sharks swept the Canucks this season. 

Still, the Sharks have struggled to score goals this season, and considering Luongo's recent form, that should continue here. 

Another big factor adding intrigue to this series is that the Canucks have the home-ice advantage, but they haven't been all that tough at home. At 17-2-5, the Sharks have. 

This all sets up for a series I expect to go seven. 


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

This series should be well-played and exciting. The Rangers and Capitals enter the postseason as teams peaking at the right time.

The Rangers surged to a 10-3-1 mark to close the season while the Capitals were an even more impressive 15-2-2 in their season's final stretch. 

What's more, this series isn't just exciting because of the terrific form of both teams, but also because they way they matchup. 

Led by Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals can blow teams away with offense, and they have been. During that impressive 19-game stretch to close out the year, Ovechkin scored 19 goals.

Meanwhile, with Henrik Lundqvist playing as well as ever in the Rangers' goal, New York's defense is a formidable task for any offense. 


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

Can the Kings recapture their postseason magic for the second straight year?

Entering as the fifth seed, it actually won't be as daunting as last year when they pulled off the feat as the eighth seed. We should get a feel pretty quickly for the Kings' title chances as they will be facing a Blues team that is talented and riding a hot streak. 

The Blues won 12 of their last 15 games, and they've largely been doing that with defense. Brian Elliot hasn't allowed more than a goal in nine of his last 11 starts. This is good news for the Blues, as the Kings bring an offense that is improved from last year's Stanley Cup team. 

Jeff Carter is a big reason for the improvement. He posted 26 goals this year, and if he can provide consistent offense for the Kings in the postseason, they will be tough to beat. 

That is because they still have Jonathan Quick in net. And Quick has been regaining his dominant form as he recovers from back surgery

This will be an entertaining and long series. 


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