NHL Playoffs 2020: Live-Stream Schedule, Stanley Cup TV Guide and Thursday Picks

Jake RillSenior Writer IAugust 27, 2020

Philadelphia Flyers' Philippe Myers plays during an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The Philadelphia Flyers built a three-goal lead in the first period Wednesday, only to see it disappear by the end of regulation. And if they had lost, they would have fallen behind 2-0 in their second-round series against the New York Islanders, a hole they certainly didn't want to be in.

Fortunately for Philadelphia, it finally broke through in overtime. Philippe Myers scored 2 minutes, 41 seconds into OT, and the Flyers secured a 4-3 win to even their series against the Islanders.

That was far from the only exciting Stanley Cup playoffs action Wednesday. The Tampa Bay Lightning cruised to a 7-1 win over the Boston Bruins, taking a 2-1 series lead. Meanwhile, the Colorado Avalanche got on the board in the second round with a 6-4 win, cutting the Dallas Stars' series lead to 2-1.

It's guaranteed that none of the four second-round series will be sweeps. Here's a look at the upcoming playoff schedule, followed by predictions for Thursday's two contests.


Upcoming Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 27

Game 3: No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers at No. 6 New York Islanders, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Game 3: No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights at No. 5 Vancouver Canucks, 9:45 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network


Friday, Aug. 28

Game 4: No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning at No. 4 Boston Bruins, 7:30 p.m. ET, USA Network

Game 4: No. 2 Colorado Avalanche at No. 3 Dallas Stars, 10 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network


Saturday, Aug. 29

Game 4: No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers at No. 6 New York Islanders, noon ET, NBC

Game 4: No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights at No. 5 Vancouver Canucks, 8 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Complete second-round schedule available at NHL.com. Games can be streamed at NBC Sports Live.


Thursday Predictions

Flyers Carry Over Momentum to Win Game 3

It will be a quick turnaround for the Flyers and Islanders, as they are set to return to the ice for Game 3 on Thursday. And after New York dominated in its 4-0 win in Game 1, things are all even again after Philadelphia's OT victory.

The Flyers couldn't generate any offense against goaltender Semyon Varlamov and the Islanders defense in Game 1, but they got off to a strong start in Game 2 with a trio of first-period goals. And although New York got back in the game and forced OT, it was an impressive show of resiliency by Philadelphia to recover and quickly end it in the extra period.

Philly should carry over its momentum for another strong start, tightening things up on defense to prevent the Islanders from again tying it late.

A sense of urgency for Philadelphia, which opened the postseason with six wins in its first seven games, should get the team back on track after a few minor setbacks.

"When you lose Game 1 and your next two games are back to back, Game 2 is a pretty important game," Flyers center Kevin Hayes said, according to NHL.com's Adam Kimelman. "Every game is important, but [Wednesday] was probably the most important game of the season."

Although New York has played well in the playoffs, Philadelphia is the better team. The Flyers have only averaged 2.2 goals in 10 postseason games and need to start putting more pucks in the net. They did that in Game 2, and it is going to be difficult for the Islanders to keep pace with them if they maintain that pace.


Golden Knights Bounce Back After Game 2 Setback

After a dominant start to the postseason, the Golden Knights are facing some adversity for the first time since arriving to the NHL bubble in Edmonton, Alberta. They went 3-0 in round-robin seeding play and then notched three straight wins over the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round.

Vegas grabbed a series-opening win in the second round, beating Vancouver 5-0 in Game 1. However, the Canucks proved they will be the Golden Knights' greatest challenge yet this postseason by responding with a 5-2 victory in Game 2.

Now, it's Vegas' turn to bounce back. And after a rare off showing for its offense, don't be surprised when the Golden Knights' high-scoring attack notches some early goals and has a big showing in Thursday's Game 3, helping them take back control of the series.

However, it's also going to take a better defensive showing from Vegas to record the win.

"We definitely gave them a lot of room [in Game 2]," Golden Knights left winger Jonathan Marchessault said, according to Ben Gotz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "Their skill players, they were coming in our zone like [it was] nothing. It was too easy for them. We made their life easy out there. It’s on us to go back to how structured we were in the first game."

The Golden Knights have been one of the best teams all postseason and remain one of the top Stanley Cup contenders, so it seems likely they will pull out the series win against the Canucks. That will start with a Game 3 victory that will help Vegas take a lead it may never relinquish in the series.