NHL Playoffs Schedule 2021: League Drops Dates, Times, TV Info for Potential Bracket

Adam WellsMay 13, 2021

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 13: raising the  Stanley Cup Champions Banner during the NHL Hockey match between the Lightning and Blackhawks  on January 13, 2021 at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL. (Photo by Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs will begin Saturday with the Washington Capitals hosting the Boston Bruins. 

The NHL dropped the full first-round schedule Thursday featuring the potential matchups in each of the four divisions:

Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli

#Stanley Cup East and Central schedule. pic.twitter.com/kYrPMG7ZXV

Frank Seravalli @frank_seravalli

#StanleyCup West and North schedule. pic.twitter.com/dnxrP2VKIo

The regular season was originally supposed to end May 8, but the NHL announced last month that the North Division would continue to play through May 19 to accommodate games missed because of the COVID-19 outbreak involving the Vancouver Canucks. 

The 16-team playoff field is locked, though there is still one major piece of business still to be determined. The Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche are in a race for the West division title and the No. 1 overall seed in the playoffs. 

Vegas finished the regular season with 82 points. Colorado has 80 points heading into its finale on Thursday against the Los Angeles Kings. The Avs hold the tiebreaker (head-to-head regulation wins) over the Golden Knights if the two teams finish with the same number of points. 

The first two rounds of the postseason will pit teams in the same division against each other, starting with the No. 1 seed vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3.