NHL Playoff Bracket 2020: Stanley Cup Dates, Game Times for Updated Schedule

Jake RillSenior Writer IAugust 18, 2020

St. Louis Blues goaltender Jake Allen stops a shot against the Colorado Avalanche in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020, in Denver. Colorado won 5-3. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

And just like that, not only have the St. Louis Blues moved past their slow start to the postseason, but they're also right back in their first-round series.

The Stanley Cup champions won for the second night in a row Monday, notching a 3-1 victory to tie up their series against the Vancouver Canucks at 2-2.

Tuesday's action sees a pair of matchups with teams looking to stave off elimination. The Washington Capitals trail the New York Islanders 3-0, while the Chicago Blackhawks are down 3-1 to the Vegas Golden Knights.

Vegas won't be the only No. 1 seed in action, as the Philadelphia Flyers will look to extend their 2-1 lead over the Montreal Canadiens in their Game 4 matchup.

Here's a look at the upcoming playoff schedule, followed by some of the storylines to watch Tuesday.


Upcoming Schedule

Tuesday, Aug. 18

Game 4: No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers at No. 8 Montreal Canadiens, 3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 5: No. 6 Calgary Flames at No. 3 Dallas Stars, 5:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 4: No. 6 Washington Capitals at No. 3 New York Islanders, 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 5: No. 8 Chicago Blackhawks at No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network


Wednesday, Aug. 19

Game 5: No. 7 Columbus Blue Jackets at No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning, noon ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 5: No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes at No. 4 Boston Bruins, 4 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 5: No. 7 Arizona Coyotes at No. 2 Colorado Avalanche, 5:30 p.m. ET, NHL Network

Game 5: No. 8 Montreal Canadiens at No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers, 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 5: No. 5 Vancouver Canucks at No. 4 St. Louis Blues, 10:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Complete postseason schedule available at NHL.com.


Tuesday Storylines

Will Capitals suffer another first-round elimination?

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Although the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in 2018, the majority of their playoff runs over the past decade have ended in either the first or second round. Last year, they were knocked out by the Hurricanes in the first round in a seven-game series, their first postseason appearance under coach Todd Reirden.

Washington hasn't even been competitive in its opening-round matchup this season, dropping the first three games to New York. On Sunday, the Islanders won 2-1 in overtime to take a commanding lead in the series with the Caps needing to win four straight games to advance.

"It's about creating belief," Reirden said, according to NHL.com's Tom Gulitti. "It's about creating the belief and having the belief as a teammate, having the belief in the guy next to you and as an overall group knowing that everybody is all in, knowing they can to help us get that one win and take it day by day and move forward from there."

Washington is 1-5 this postseason and hasn't scored more than two goals in a game. If the Capitals don't find a way to generate more offense, then they'll likely be heading home soon.


Who takes control in Dallas-Calgary series?

Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The Stars and Flames continue to trade blows in their opening-round series.

Calgary jumped out to a lead with a 3-2 win in Game 1, but Dallas answered with a 5-4 victory in Game 2. Then, after the Flames took a 2-1 lead with a 2-0 win in the third contest, the Stars again responded by winning 5-4 in overtime.

The winner of Tuesday's Game 5 will move one win away from advancing. It's a critical juncture in what's been one of the most exciting series of the opening round.

"In the playoffs, you can't get too high or too low," Calgary goaltender Cam Talbot said, per NHL.com's Aaron Vickers. "The emotions can get the better of you sometimes; you have to stay even-keeled. I think our team has done a good job of that after losses so far, and we're looking to rebound again."

Per Vickers, teams that win Game 5 to take a 3-2 lead in best-of-seven Stanley Cup playoff series are 211-58, going on to win the series 78.4 percent of the time.


Can Golden Knights finish off Blackhawks?

Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

After winning their first six games of the postseason, the Golden Knights couldn't keep their unblemished playoff record intact on Sunday, losing Game 4 to the Blackhawks 3-1.

Vegas still has a commanding 3-1 series lead, but it will have to win at least one more game before advancing.

The Golden Knights had 23 total goals in their first five postseason games, but they've had just three goals over their past two contests. In Game 4, they were shut down by Chicago goaltender Corey Crawford, who had 48 saves to help the Blackhawks stave off elimination.

Chicago has plenty of veterans who know what it takes to win in the postseason, but it still faces a tough task in trying to win four consecutive games against Vegas to pull off another upset. The Blackhawks were the No. 12 seed in the Western Conference in the qualifying round, when they beat the No. 5-seeded Edmonton Oilers in four games.

Eventually, the Golden Knights are likely to start scoring in bunches again, especially if they can better capitalize on their power plays—they're 0-for-9 so far this series.