NHL Playoff Schedule 2014: Updated Look at Bracket and TV Info

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistMay 11, 2014

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 9:  Evgeni Malkin #71 of the Pittsburgh Penguins catches the puck on the rebound off his own shot before turning around and scoring on a second shot on goaltender Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers in the second period in Game Five of the Second Round of the 2014 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 9, 2014 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

While all the buzz is surroundin the NFL draft or the NBA playoffs, the NHL playoffs have quietly been epic once again, with four truly intriguing second-round matchups. 

On Sunday, one of those matchups could be decided, while another wacky series will see a team take a pretty big advantage. And since you surely don't want to miss another game of the playoffs, below you'll also find the updated bracket and remaining schedule. 

Enough of this draft business. Let's watch some hockey!

  

NHL Playoffs Bracket
ConferenceMatchup
WesternChicago Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild (Tied 2-2)
WesternAnaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings (Tied 2-2)
EasternBoston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens (Bruins Lead 3-2)
EasternPittsburgh Penguins vs. New York Rangers (Penguins Lead 3-2)

 

Upcoming Television Schedule
DateTimeMatchupWatch
Sunday, May 117 p.m.Pittsburgh at NY RangersNBCSN, CBC, RDS
Sunday, May 119 p.m.Minnesota at ChicagoCNBC, TSN, RDS2
Monday, May 12TBDBoston at MontrealNBCSN, CBC, RDS
Monday, May 1210 p.m.Los Angeles at AnaheimNBCSN, TSN, RDS
*Tuesday, May 13TBDNY Rangers at PittsburghCBC
Tuesday, May 13TBDChicago at MinnesotaTSN
*Wednesday, May 14TBDMontreal at BostonCBC, RDS
*Wednesday, May 14TBDAnaheim at Los AngelesTSN
*Thursday, May 15TBDMinnesota at ChicagoTSN
*Friday, May 16TBDLos Angeles at AnaheimTSN
NHL.com (*If necessary)

 

Sunday Preview

ST. PAUL, MN - MAY 9: Nino Niederreiter #22 of the Minnesota Wild scores a goal against Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks during Game Four of the Second Round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs on May 9, 2014 at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul
Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images

We start with the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Minnesota Wild, which has just been a wacky series thus far. The Blackhawks owned the first two games, winning by a combined total of 9-3 in Chicago. It appeared they were going to cruise to the conference finals. 

But then the Minnesota Wild came roaring back, winning the next two games by a goal margin of 8-2. So, with both teams holding form at home, the series returns to Chicago for Game 5.

For what it's worth, Patrick Sharp of the Blackhawks isn't surprised by the Wild's resurgence, as he told Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune:

This isn't anything that we didn't expect. Minnesota is a great team and they're playing really well. 

We have respect for what they can do as a team in all areas, not just defensively. They have some great offensive power. (But) we need to stop worrying about what they're so good at and use our strengths as well.

Added captain Jonathan Toews:

It's reflective of our intensity. They worked for their chances. They worked for everything they got. We have to do the same. We have to be better.

It's frustrating to not get a win the last two games on the road. We could have put ourselves in a great spot had we played the way we need to play. But we didn't.

This series is long from over. That's the good news. We have a chance to redeem ourselves and be better than we have been.

Going back to Chicago should help. And perhaps getting essentially knocked around by the Wild has woken the Blackhawks up. They should win Game 5, but if they fail to do so, it's hard to see the Wild letting go of the momentum they've established, or losing in Game 6.

You would expect the winner of Game 5 to win this series. 

Sunday's other game sees the New York Rangers host the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6, with New York fresh off a 5-1 thrashing of the Penguins after facing elimination in Pittsburgh. The Penguins may have gotten wrecked, but at least they had the play of the game, as the NHL passed along on Twitter:

That's one heck of a goal.

As DJ Gallo of Sports Pickle joked, the Penguins perhaps didn't "show up" in Game 5:

Keeping Sidney Crosby on track remains Pittsburgh's primary goal. He scored in Game 3 and added two assists in Game 4, but he put up a goose egg in Game 5. Crosby has continued to set up his teammates in these playoffs (eight assists) but he's scored just one goal. 

Thus far, the Pens haven't needed him to score to win in these playoffs. But if he scores a goal or two in Game 6, it's hard to see the Rangers winning, even with home-ice advantage. 

On the other hand, if the Rangers do win and force a Game 7, they'll have all the momentum in this series. And keep in mind, they've already won two of the three games in Pittsburgh in this series. You can bet the Penguins want to wrap this up on Sunday night.