NHL Playoffs 2014: Updated Bracket and TV Info for Friday's Action

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2014

Chicago Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville yells his team during the third period in Game 6 of a first-round NHL hockey playoff series against the St. Louis Blues  in Chicago, Sunday, April 27, 2014. The Blackhawks won 5-1. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

All hockey fans were treated to in the first round of the 2014 NHL playoffs were multiple Game 7s, thrilling overtime finishes and a historic comeback from the Los Angeles Kings against the San Jose Sharks. 

Now, it’s time to do it all over again.

Friday brings a pair of Game 1s in the second round. Here is a look at the broadcast schedule for both contests.

2014 NHL Playoffs Friday Schedule
Away TeamHome TeamTime (ET)TV
New York RangersPittsburgh Penguins7 p.m.NBC Sports Network
Minnesota WildChicago Blackhawks9:30 p.m.NBC Sports Network

With the first round officially in the rearview mirror, it's worth getting a refresher for what the entire bracket looks like for both conferences. That can be found right here.


Friday’s Game to Watch: Minnesota Wild at Chicago Blackhawks, Game 1

Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press

The Chicago Blackhawks may be the defending Stanley Cup champions with the home-ice advantage in their matchup with Minnesota, but the Wild actually held a 3-1-1 edge over Chicago during the season. 

Minnesota is fresh off an incredible Game 7 overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche and certainly has some momentum. Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville noted that the Wild are a different squad than Chicago played in the playoffs last year, according to The Associated Press, via ESPN.com:

It is definitely a different team. You got to commend them on how they played at the end of the year to get themselves in the playoffs. Had a great run and had a lot of momentum going into that series, and they played a great series.

Both teams are dealing with health concerns. Mark Potash of the Chicago Sun-Times noted that fans should keep an eye on Chicago captain Jonathan Toews:

While it appears Toews will be all right, Minnesota’s goalie situation may be a different story.

Darcy Kuemper left Game 7 in the first round against Colorado with an injury and was replaced by Ilya Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov actually started the first two games in that series, so Minnesota’s goalie situation is worth monitoring.

While the Wild may have some momentum after their incredible Round 1 win, it’s hard to ignore Chicago’s relatively straightforward postseason victory over them last year when looking ahead to this series.

JACK DEMPSEY/Associated Press

The Blackhawks held Zach Parise to a single goal in five playoff games last year, and Parise only has four goals in 20 career contests against Chicago. Expect that stifling Blackhawks defense to contain Parise yet again.

What’s more, Chicago shut out Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter in last year’s playoffs and seem to have the formula for success against this Wild team during the critical moments.

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 27: Jonathan Toews #19 of the Chicago Blackhawks chases down the puck against the St. Louis Blues in Game Six of the First Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 27, 2014  in Chicago, Illinois. The Bla
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Corey Crawford will also help the Blackhawks win from the net. He is sporting a .935 save percentage in the playoffs and is a formidable final obstacle for Minnesota if it can get past Chicago’s defenders.

The Blackhawks will pick up right where they left off against the Wild in the postseason last year. 

Their defense is too strong and poses matchup issues for Minnesota that will carry them to another postseason win.


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