NHL Playoff Bracket 2019: Stanley Cup Schedule, Postseason Tree and Standings

Jake RillCorrespondent IIApril 21, 2019

Dallas Stars players celebrate after defeating the Nashville Predators in Game 5 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Saturday, April 20, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

There have already been plenty of surprises in this year's NHL playoffs. And there may be even more in the weeks to come.

The No. 1 seeds from each conference—the Tampa Bay Lightning (Eastern Conference) and Calgary Flames (Western Conference)—have been eliminated. Tampa Bay was swept by the Columbus Blue Jackets, while Calgary lost to the Colorado Avalanche in five games.

However, only half of the second-round field has been set. The rest will be decided over the next several days.

        

Updated Playoff Standings

Eastern Conference

Columbus Blue Jackets defeated Tampa Bay Lightning 4-0. Columbus will face winner of Boston-Toronto series.

Toronto Maple Leafs lead Boston Bruins 3-2. Game 6 at Toronto, Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC.

Washington Capitals lead Carolina Hurricanes 3-2. Game 6 at Carolina, Monday, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network.

New York Islanders defeated Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0. New York will face winner of Washington-Carolina series.

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Western Conference

Colorado Avalanche defeated Calgary Flames 4-1. Colorado will face winner of Vegas-San Jose series.

Vegas Golden Knights lead San Jose Sharks 3-2. Game 6 at Vegas, Sunday, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network.

Dallas Stars lead Nashville Predators 3-2. Game 6 at Dallas, Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET, CNBC.

St. Louis Blues defeated Winnipeg Jets 4-2. St. Louis will face winner of Nashville-Dallas Series.

       

Remaining 1st-Round Picture

Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

By Wednesday night, the first round of the postseason will be over. However, it could also end as early as Monday night, depending on the results of the upcoming Game 6 matchups.

On Sunday, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vegas Golden Knights will look to advance to the second round. Each team needs just one more win, and they're both playing Game 6 at home.

The Maples Leafs will look to take down the Boston Bruins for their first playoff series win since 2004.

"It means a lot to be part of a great franchise," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said, according to NHL.com's Dave McCarthy. "I think we're going in the right direction; I think we've been doing that for three years. We have a chance to build a real good program here. This is all part of that process."

Meanwhile, the Golden Knights also hold a 3-2 lead in their series against the San Jose Sharks heading into Sunday's Game 6 in Las Vegas.

Last year, Vegas reached the Stanley Cup Final in the first season in franchise history. If the Golden Knights continue to play this well, they could be back there again this year.

"We're in a good position and we know that," Vegas forward Max Pacioretty said, according to NHL.com's Danny Webster. "Each game kind of writes its own script. You go up in a game and you play a certain way, you go down in a game, you play a certain way. But at the same time, no matter what the score is, we want to go out there and play the right way every shift."

On Monday night, the Dallas Stars and Washington Capitals will also look to notch Game 6 wins and move on to the second round. Like the Maple Leafs and Golden Knights, the Stars will have home-ice advantage. However, the Capitals will have to win on the road, or else they'll be back home for Game 7.

In the Washington-Carolina series, the home team has won each of the first five games. After dropping Games 3 and 4, the Capitals bounced back with a big 6-0 win in Game 5.

Dallas also has momentum heading into its Game 6 matchup with Nashville. After dropping Games 2 and 3 to fall behind 2-1 in the series, the Stars notched a 5-1 win in Game 4, followed by a 5-3 victory in Game 5.