NHL Playoffs 2014: Schedule, Predictions, Odds, TV Info for Entire First Round

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NHL Playoffs 2014: Schedule, Predictions, Odds, TV Info for Entire First Round
Chris Szagola

After a wild end to the regular season, the 2014 NHL playoffs schedule begins on Wednesday, April 16, as 16 of the best teams in the league go to war for the right to hoist the Stanley Cup trophy.

With the Eastern Conference stacked with viable championship contenders and the Western Conference boasting some of the most talented offensive and defensive players in the sport, the dream matchups the postseason produces will have hockey fans excited.

Here is all the vital viewing information, complete schedule, odds and everything else hard-core and casual NHL fans need to enjoy the first-round action.

 

First-Round Matchups and Predictions
First-Round Matchup Predicted Winner
Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings Boston
Montreal Canadiens vs. Tampa Bay Lightning Tampa Bay
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pittsburgh
New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers Philadelphia
Anaheim Ducks vs. Dallas Stars Anaheim
San Jose Sharks vs. Los Angeles Kings San Jose
Colorado Avalanche vs. Minnesota Wild Colorado
St. Louis Blues vs. Chicago Blackhawks St. Louis

Source: NHL.com

 

Complete 2014 NHL Playoffs First-Round Schedule
Eastern Conference
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Friday, April 18 7:30 p.m. Detroit at Boston NBCSN
Sunday, April 20 3 p.m. Detroit at Boston NBC
Tuesday, April 22 7:30 p.m. Boston at Detroit NBCSN
Thursday, April 24 8 p.m. Boston at Detroit NBCSN
*Saturday, April 26 3 p.m. Detroit at Boston NBC
*Monday, April 28 TBD Boston at Detroit N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Detroit at Boston N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Wednesday, April 16 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CNBC
Friday, April 18 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay CNBC
Sunday, April 20 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Montreal NBCSN
Tuesday, April 22 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Montreal NHL Network
*Thursday, April 24 7 p.m. Montreal at Tampa Bay N/A
*Sunday, April 27 TBD Tampa Bay at Montreal NBCSN
Tuesday, April 29 TBD Montreal at Tampa Bay N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Wednesday, April 16 7:30 p.m. Columbus at Pittsburgh NBCSN
Saturday, April 19 7 p.m. Columbus at Pittsburgh NBCSN
Monday, April 21 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Columbus NBCSN
Wednesday, April 23 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at Columbus NBCSN
*Saturday, April 26 TBD Columbus at Pittsburgh N/A
*Monday, April 28 TBD Pittsburgh at Columbus N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Columbus at Pittsburgh N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 7 p.m. Philadelphia at NY Rangers CNBC
Sunday, April 20 Noon Philadelphia at NY Rangers NBC
Tuesday, April 22 8 p.m. NY Rangers at Philadelphia CNBC
Friday, April 25 7 p.m. NY Rangers at Philadelphia CNBC
*Sunday, April 27 Noon Philadelphia at NY Rangers NBC
*Tuesday, April 29 TBD NY Rangers at Philadelphia N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Philadelphia at NY Rangers N/A
Western Conference
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 9:30 p.m. Minnesota at Colorado CNBC
Saturday, April 19 9:30 p.m. Minnesota at Colorado NBCSN
Monday, April 21 7 p.m. Colorado at Minnesota NHL Network
Thursday, April 24 9:30 p.m. Colorado at Minnesota CNBC
*Saturday, April 26 TBD Minnesota at Colorado N/A
*Monday, April 28 TBD Colorado at Minnesota N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Minnesota at Colorado N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 8 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis NBCSN
Saturday, April 19 3 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis NBC
Monday, April 21 8:30 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago CNBC
Wednesday, April 23 9:30 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago NBCSN
*Friday, April 25 8 p.m. Chicago at St. Louis NBCSN
*Sunday, April 27 3 p.m. St. Louis at Chicago NBC
*Tuesday, April 29 TBD Chicago at St. Louis N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Wednesday, April 16 10 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN
Friday, April 18 10 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN
Monday, April 21 9:30 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas NBCSN
Wednesday, April 23 8 p.m. Anaheim at Dallas CNBC
*Friday, April 25 10:30 p.m. Dallas at Anaheim NBCSN
*Sunday, April 27 TBD Anaheim at Dallas N/A
*Tuesday, April 29 TBD Dallas at Anaheim N/A
Date Time (ET) Matchup Watch
Thursday, April 17 10:30 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose NBCSN
Sunday, April 20 10 p.m. Los Angeles at San Jose NBCSN
Tuesday, April 22 10 p.m. San Jose at Los Angeles NBCSN
Thursday, April 24 10:30 p.m. San Jose at Los Angeles NBCSN
*Saturday, April 26 TBD Los Angeles at San Jose NBCSN
*Monday, April 28 TBD San Jose at Los Angeles N/A
*Wednesday, April 30 TBD Los Angeles at San Jose N/A

Source: NHL.com. (*if necessary) TV Info for extra games released as determined.

 

2014 Stanley Cup Odds
Team Odds
Boston Bruins +350
St. Louis Blues +600
Pittsburgh Penguins +700
Chicago Blackhawks +800
Anaheim Ducks +900
San Jose Sharks +900
Los Angeles Kings +1000
Colorado Avalanche +1400
Philadelphia Flyers +1800
Detroit Red Wings +2000
Montreal Canadiens +2000
New York Rangers +2000
Tampa Bay Lightning +2800
Minnesota Wild +4000
Dallas Stars +5000
Columbus Blue Jackets +5000

Source: OddsShark.com

 

Must-Watch Series: New York vs. Philadelphia

When the New York Rangers (45-31-6, 96 points) square off against the Philadelphia Flyers (42-30-9, 93 points) in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs, this will be the most hotly contested opening series of the year.

These two Metropolitan Division rivals don’t like each other.

Despite not meeting in the postseason since 1997, these two franchises have faced off each season in heated competition. Both fanbases have learned to hate each other as well, and there is absolutely no love lost between the teams and the cities.

While there will be plenty of bad blood on and off the ice in this series, Rangers alternate captain Marc Staal told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News about his team keeping the focus on winning games:

I think because we needed to, to be honest. You get down to that stretch there the last month, and we knew we had to string some wins together to get into the playoffs. I think when our best was needed, we gave it, and we’ve been giving it for a while now.

Philadelphia is spreading the same message around its locker room, and several players and coaches shared their opinions via the team’s official Twitter account:

New York made the biggest trade at the 2014 deadline by acquiring veteran forward Martin St. Louis, and the offense has responded. Now that the team has depth with stars like St. Louis, Rick Nash and Brad Richards, the offense is one of the most dangerous in the league.

Which team will win this first-round series?

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Add in one of the best goalies in the NHL with Henrik Lundqvist, and the Flyers will be forced to come together as a team and upset their division rivals.

Led by captain Claude Giroux, the Philadelphia offense struggled to start the season but ended up finishing strong by ranking eighth overall in the league with an average of 2.8 goals per game and ranking seventh on the power play.

While the matchup against Lundqvist won’t be easy, Flyers goaltender Steve Mason has proved to be the steady backstop the franchise desperately needed. Philadelphia boasts the better overall defense, and that will ultimately be the difference in the matchup.

As well as New York has played in 2014, the Flyers finished the regular season strong and will advance to the second round.

Prediction: Philadelphia wins series 4-2

 

*All stats and information via NHL.com.

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