NHL Playoff Schedule 2014: Updated Bracket and TV Info for Stanley Cup Matchups

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistMay 5, 2014

Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) is congratulated by teammates Dougie Hamilton (27) and Daniel Paille (20) after beating the Montreal Canadiens during Game 2 in the second-round of the Stanley Cup hockey playoff series in Boston, Saturday, May 3, 2014. The Bruins defeated the Canadiens 5-3, tying the series at one game each. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Charles Krupa/Associated Press

Proving once again that there's nothing better than postseason hockey, the Stanley Cup playoffs are escalating quickly. The first round was a fantastic warm-up act for the conference semifinals. 

Of the four series going on, two are tied at one game each and one has played a single game that went to overtime. Every time you turn on these games, drama is happening. 

Making things even better for the NHL, at least from a marketing perspective, is the fact that the teams still playing are located in markets such as Boston, Montreal, Pittsburgh, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. 

It's a great time to be a fan of the NHL, and you hope these series get dragged out as long as possible. To further enhance the buildup, here is an updated bracket and TV schedule for the games in the conference semifinals. 

2014 NHL Playoffs Second-Round Schedule
 Eastern Conference   
GameMatchupDateTime (ET)TV
1Canadiens beat Bruins, 4-3May 17:30 p.m.NBCSN
2Bruins beat Canadiens, 5-3May 312:30 p.m.NBC
3Bruins at CanadiensMay 67 p.m.NBCSN
4Bruins at CanadiensMay 87:30 p.m.NBCSN
5*Canadiens at BruinsMay 10TBDTBD
6*Bruins at CanadiensMay 12TBDTBD
7*Canadiens at BruinsMay 14TBDTBD
GameMatchupDateTime (ET)TV
1Rangers beat Penguins, 3-2May 27 p.m.NBCSN
2Penguins beat Rangers, 3-0May 47:30 p.m.NBCSN
3Penguins at RangersMay 57:30 p.m.NBCSN
4Penguins at RangersMay 77:30 p.m.NBCSN
5*Rangers at PenguinsMay 9TBDTBD
6*Penguins at RangersMay 11TBDTBD
7*Rangers at PenguinsMay 13TBDTBD
 Western Conference   
GameMatchupDateTime (ET)TV
1Blackhawks beat Wild, 5-2May 29:30 p.m.NBCSN
2Blackhawks beat Wild, 4-1May 43 p.m.NBC
3Blackhawks at WildMay 69 p.m.CNBC
4Blackhawks at WildMay 9TBDTBD
5*Wild at BlackhawksMay 11TBDTBD
6*Blackhawks at WildMay 13TBDTBD
7*Wild at BlackhawksMay 15TBDTBD
GameMatchupDateTime (ET)TV
1Kings beat Ducks, 3-2May 38 p.m.NBCSN
2Kings at DucksMay 510 p.m.NBCSN
3Ducks at KingsMay 810 p.m.NBCSN
4Ducks at KingsMay 10TBDTBD
5*Kings at DucksMay 12TBDTBD
6*Ducks at KingsMay 14TBDTBD
7*Kings at DucksMay 16TBDTBD

Source: NHL.com. *Denotes if necessary

 

What to Watch For on Monday

Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Rangers (Series tied 1-1)

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

The biggest story for the Penguins in this postseason has been the disappearance of Sidney Crosby's offensive game. 

Crosby hasn't scored a goal in 13 playoff games. He's also been struggling in other areas, putting up a minus-three plus/minus rating in Game 1 against New York. 

Crosby looked much more effective in Game 2, showing burst and quickness, but it's not yet time to declare that he's back to his old tricks. If he really is catching fire, the Penguins are going to make quick work of the Rangers. 

A major problem New York faces moving forward is taking advantage of power-play opportunities. Henrik Lundqvist has given the Rangers a chance to win both of these games, saving 66 out of 70 shots, but there's no consistency to this offense. 

The Rangers have been held scoreless with a man advantage in their last 29 attempts. If they want to have any shot against Pittsburgh moving forward, especially with an improving Crosby, taking advantage of those situations is critical. 

 

Los Angeles Kings at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (Kings lead series 1-0)

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

The Kings and the Ducks are playing catch-up in the only conference semifinal series to have played just one game. If the rest of this series is anything like Game 1, it's going to be special. 

Marian Gaborik played hero for Los Angeles in the first game, scoring the tying goal in the final seconds of regulation and winning the game 12 minutes into overtime. That's been the story this postseason for the Kings, who spotted San Jose a 3-0 series lead before winning four straight. 

The difference for the Kings has been goaltending. Jonathan Quick looked lost on an island in the first three games against San Jose, allowing 16 goals on 108 shots. He found himself in a hurry, virtually saving Los Angeles' season in the process. 

It's hard to know how Anaheim feels heading into Game 2. On the one hand, the Ducks had Game 1 won and should be leading this series. They just have to finish better in order to keep the Kings down. 

On the other hand, losing in heartbreaking fashion the way they did can be difficult to come back from. The Ducks weren't the best team in the Western Conference by accident. They have to finish better, clearly, but they faced adversity against Dallas in the first round and scored 11 times in the final two games to close out the series. 

 

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