NHL Playoffs 2020: TV Schedule, Live-Stream Guide for Wednesday's Games

Jake RillSenior Writer IAugust 19, 2020

Tampa Bay Lightning's Victor Hedman (77). Alex Killorn (17) and Nikita Kucherov (86) celebrate after an NHL hockey game against the Buffalo Sabres in Globen Arena, Stockholm Sweden. Friday. Nov. 8, 2019. (Anders Wiklund/TT via AP)
Anders Wiklund/Associated Press

On Tuesday, the Vegas Golden Knights became the first team to advance to the second round of this year's Stanley Cup playoffs. They notched a 4-3 victory to win their first-round series against the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1, and the No. 1 seeds will now wait to see who they'll play next.

On Wednesday, there could be as many as four teams joining Vegas in the second round. The Tampa Bay Lightning, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and Philadelphia Flyers are all a win away from advancing to the second round.

There will also be a crucial Game 5 between the St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks in a series that is tied 2-2.

Here's a look at Wednesday's schedule, with five Game 5 contests set to take place.


Wednesday Schedule

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

Games can be streamed live at NBC Sports Live.


Lightning close to avenging last year's playoff struggles

In a series that began with an epic five-overtime clash, the Lightning have taken control, winning Games 3 and 4 each by one goal to take a 3-1 series lead over the Blue Jackets.

With one more victory, Tampa Bay will eliminate Columbus, getting revenge for last year when the Blue Jackets upset the Lightning by sweeping them in the opening round.

The Lightning are coming off their best defensive performance of the series, after Andrei Vasilevskiy had 28 saves and held the Blue Jackets to one goal in their 2-1 victory. Tampa Bay scored a pair of goals early in the second period, then held Columbus scoreless for the final 34 minutes, 12 seconds to take a commanding lead in the series.

"You know that when your season's in the balance how they're going to come out," Lightning coach Jon Cooper said, according to NHL.com's Sean Farrell. "If we can match that desperation, it's just going to help."

Per Farrell, Tampa Bay has held a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven playoff six previous times and gone on to win the series five of those times.

The Blue Jackets have played a lot of hockey this postseason, as they went the full five games in their qualifying-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs, with two of those going to overtime.

However, they're now on the brink of elimination and will need to find a way to win three straight against the Lightning.


Bruins nearing another series win over Hurricanes

Charles Krupa/Associated Press

In the two games since goaltender Tuukka Rask opted not to play the rest of the season, the Bruins have had no trouble taking control of their series against the Hurricanes.

Jaroslav Halak took over in goal for Game 3 and helped Boston to a 3-1 win, and the Bruins won again in Game 4, notching a 4-3 victory.

Last year, Boston swept Carolina in four games in the Eastern Conference Final. And the Hurricanes may not get more than one win against the Bruins this season, as they're one loss from elimination.

"We have a ton of character in our room," Boston left winger Brad Marchand said, according to Field Level Media (h/t ESPN). "We always say it's a process. We continue to impose our will."

The Bruins got off to a slow start this postseason. Despite winning the Presidents' Trophy for having the most regular-season points in the NHL, they went 0-3 in their round-robin seeding games to fall to the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference.

After scoring only four goals over those first three games, Boston has hit 13 goals in its first four games against Carolina.


Can Blues keep momentum going in Game 5?

Matt Marton/Associated Press

After losing their first five games of the postseason, the Blues are back. They won Games 3 and 4 against the Canucks to tie the series at 2-2, and the Stanley Cup holders have turned things around in doing so.

A goalie change has proved beneficial for St. Louis, as it replaced Jordan Binnington with Jake Allen after falling behind 2-0 to Vancouver. Allen led the Blues to a 3-2 overtime win in Game 3, then had an even better performance in Game 4, lifting them to a 3-1 victory.

"I knew I had to be ready. You don't have 82 games to prep yourself for the playoffs, so working hard and being ready and getting a chance and trying to make the most of it," Allen said, per Corey Miller of KSDK News. "The guys have played really hard the past couple of nights, hats off to them, and have made my job not overly difficult and got us back in the series here."

It seems unlikely the Blues will go back to Binnington right now after Allen helped them notch their first wins of the postseason.

However, one thing St. Louis will have to continue to overcome is the absence of right winger Vladimir Tarasenko, who missed Games 3 and 4 with a left shoulder injury and is now leaving the NHL bubble in Edmonton for further evaluation.