Despite having a lockout and a shortened 48-game season, the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Playoffs are finally here. The games start on Tuesday, April 30, and continue into May. They will be televised on NBC Sports Network, NBC, CSNBC, and local broadcasting stations.
This year makes for some interesting matchups. The Chicago Blackhawks claimed the President’s Trophy as the #1 overall seed and the top seed in the Western Conference. They are seeking to become the first team to win both the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season. They face off against the #8 seed in the West the Minnesota Wild. Meanwhile, the defending champion Los Angeles Kings are the #4 seed, facing off with the #5 seeded Saint Louis Blues. Other Western Conference matchups include the #2 Anaheim Ducks against the #7 Detroit Red Wings and the #3 Vancouver Canucks against the #6 San Jose Sharks.
In the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins claimed the top spot, and their first opponent will be the #8 New York Islanders. Next, the #2 Montreal Canadiens will take on the #7 Ottawa Senators. On down the list is the #3 Washington Capitals facing the #6 New York Rangers. Last but not least, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, the #4 Boston Bruins will take on the #5 Toronto Maple Leafs who are back in the playoffs for the first time since 2004.