NHL Playoff Bracket 2020: TV Info, Predictions for Thursday Schedule

Kristopher Knox@@kris_knoxFeatured ColumnistAugust 27, 2020

FILE - In This Feb. 11, 2020, file photo, New York Islanders goaltender Semyon Varlamov (40) deflects the puck as Islanders left wing Kieffer Bellows (20) keeps Philadelphia Flyers right wing Nicolas Aube-Kubel (62) away during the first period of an NHL hockey game in New York. The NHL ditched divisional playoffs to go back to the old-school format for its summer postseason and still ended up with all division rivals facing off in the second round. It’s the Flyers against Islanders in the Metropolitan series. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
Kathy Willens/Associated Press

The NHL playoffs continue on Thursday with two premium postseason games. The Philadelphia Flyers will take on the New York Islanders, while the Vegas Golden Knights will battle the Vancouver Canucks. Both series are tied at 1-1.

Vancouver is coming off a 5-2 win, while the Flyers are coming off of a 4-3 overtime victory. As we enter a pair of pivotal Game 3 matchups, here's everything you need to know about the schedule and the latest odds from Caesars Palace.


Philadelphia Flyers vs. New York Islanders

When: 7 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: NBCSN, NBCSports.com

Line: New York -1.5


While the Flyers took Game 1, New York appears to be one of the top teams in the bubble at this point. They're 8-3 in the playoffs and have repeatedly dominated opponents defensively. They closed out the Washington Capitals with a 4-0 shutout a week ago and kicked off the Philadelphia series with a 4-0 shutout on Monday.

However, the Flyers cannot be discounted. Philadelphia got off to a fast start on a pair of Kevin Hayes goals and eventually took a 3-0 first-period lead. While New York battled back, the Flyers were able to hold them off until rookie defenseman Phil Myers nailed a long shot in the extra period to seal it.

Philadelphia Flyers @NHLFlyers

PHIL MYERS FROM DOWNTOWN. #AnytimeAnywhere | #NYIvsPHI https://t.co/ym1Oxh7N88

Islanders goalie Semyon Varlamov was pulled in the first period after entering the game with a franchise-record shutout streak—though coach Barry Trotz doesn't blame him for falling behind.

"Just was looking for something a little bit different," Totz said, per Brian Compton of NHL.com. "Not his fault. We didn't give him enough support there. We can share the blame as a group and we have to refocus for tomorrow."

While another fast start could allow the Flyers to take a 2-1 series lead, it's highly unlikely that New York will let its guard down for a second game in a row. Expect another close contest but yet another defensive win for the Islanders.

Prediction: New York 2-1


Vegas Golden Knights vs. Vancouver Canucks

When: 9:45 p.m. ET

TV and Live Stream: NBCSN, NBCSports.com

Line: Vegas -1.5


Like Philadelphia, the Canucks evened up their series earlier this week. Their victory came thanks in large part from the return of Tyler Toffoli, who finished the game with three points.

Some fantastic play from Jacob Markstrom (38 saves) also played a role, as Vancouver was outshot 40-27. The Canucks were not able to withstand the offensive barrage in Game 1, as the Golden Knights took a 5-0 victory.

While it's entirely possible that Markstrom can hold up for a second consecutive game, it feels unlikely. Vegas had a whopping 93 shot attempts in Game 2, and the odds simply aren't in Markstrom's favor if there's a similar outburst on Thursday.

Expect Vegas to again control the puck, get ahead in shot attempts and sneak a couple more past Markstrom than the Canucks are able to answer.

Prediction: Vegas 3-1