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Dates, times, TV schedule in quest for Stanley Cup

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SportsPulse: Playoff hockey is here and is certain to be unpredictable. We get you ready for the insanity and predict who’s going to hold Lord Stanley’s cup this summer.
USA TODAY

The defending champion Washington Capitals are back for a run at their second Stanley Cup, but plenty of teams stand in the way in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

If the Capitals can get past the Carolina Hurricanes, they would have to face the nemesis Pittsburgh Penguins or their former coach, Barry Trotz of the New York Islanders, in the second round.

Get through that round, and the Tampa Bay Lightning could be next. The Lightning tied the NHL record with 62 wins this season and would be seeking revenge after last season’s Game 7 loss at home in the Eastern Conference final. The difficult-to-play Boston Bruins and the deep Toronto Maple Leafs also are a threat to get to the third round.

The Vegas Golden Knights also are back after their magical run last season as an expansion team, but they struggled down the stretch. The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets are getting attention as they to win Canada’s first Stanley Cup since 1993. The St. Louis Blues are a sleeper under midseason coaching hire Craig Berube.

The first-round schedule (all times ET, x-if necessary):

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Tampa Bay vs. Columbus

Blue Jackets lead 2-0

Game 1: Columbus 4, Tampa Bay 3

Game 2: Columbus 5, Tampa Bay 1

Sunday, April 14: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 7 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, April 16: Tampa Bay at Columbus, 7 p.m., CNBC

x-Friday, April 19: Columbus at Tampa Bay, TBA

x-Sunday, April 21: Tampa Bay at Columbus, TBA

x-Tuesday, April 23: Columbus at Tampa Bay, TBA

Boston vs. Toronto

Maple Leafs lead 1-0

Game 1: Toronto 4, Boston 1

Saturday, April 13: Toronto at Boston, 8 p.m., NBC

Monday, April 15: Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, April 17: Boston at Toronto, 7 p.m., NBCSN

x-Friday, April 19: Toronto at Boston, TBA

x-Sunday, April 21: Boston at Toronto, TBA

x-Tuesday, April 23: Toronto at Boston, TBA

Washington vs. Carolina

Capitals lead 2-0

Game 1: Washington 4, Carolina 2

Game 2: Washington 4, Carolina 3 (OT)

Monday, April 15: Washington at Carolina, 7 p.m., CNBC

Thursday, April 18: Washington at Carolina, 7 p.m., TBA

x-Saturday, April 20: Carolina at Washington, TBA

x-Monday, April 22: Washington at Carolina, TBA

x-Wednesday, April 24: Carolina at Washington, TBA

New York Islanders vs. Pittsburgh

Islanders lead 2-0

Game 1: N.Y. Islanders 4, Pittsburgh 3 (OT)

Game 2: N.Y. Islanders 3, Pittsburgh 1

Sunday, April 14: N.Y. Islanders at Pittsburgh, noon, NBC

Tuesday, April 16: N.Y. Islanders at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m., NBCSN

x-Thursday, April 18: Pittsburgh at N.Y. Islanders, TBA

x-Saturday, April 20: N.Y. Islanders at Pittsburgh, TBA

x-Monday, April 22: Pittsburgh at N.Y. Islanders, TBA

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Nashville vs. Dallas

Stars lead 1-0

Game 1: Dallas 3, Nashville 2

Saturday, April 13: Dallas at Nashville, 6 p.m., CNBC

Monday, April 15: Nashville at Dallas, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN

Wednesday, April 17: Nashville at Dallas, 8 p.m., USA

x-Saturday, April 20: Dallas at Nashville, TBA

x-Monday, April 22: Nashville at Dallas, TBA

x-Wednesday, April 24: Dallas at Nashville, TBA

Winnipeg vs. St. Louis

Blues lead 2-0

Game 1: St. Louis 2, Winnipeg 1

Game 2: St. Louis 4, Winnipeg 3

Sunday, April 14: Winnipeg at St. Louis, 7:30 p.m., CNBC

Tuesday, April 16: Winnipeg at St. Louis, 9:30 p.m., CNBC

x-Thursday, April 18: St. Louis at Winnipeg, TBA

x-Saturday, April 20: Winnipeg at St. Louis, TBA

x-Monday, April 22: St. Louis at Winnipeg, TBA

Calgary vs. Colorado

Flames lead 1-0

Game 1: Calgary 4, Colorado 0

Thursday, April 11: Colorado at Calgary, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Saturday, April 13: Colorado at Calgary, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN

Monday, April 15: Calgary at Colorado, 10 p.m., CNBC

Wednesday, April 17: Calgary at Colorado, 10 p.m., NBCSN

x-Friday, April 19: Colorado at Calgary, TBA

x-Sunday, April 21: Calgary at Colorado, TBA

x-Tuesday, April 23: Colorado at Calgary, TBA

San Jose vs. Vegas

Series tied 1-1

Game 1: San Jose 5, Vegas 2

Game 2: Vegas 5, San Jose 3

Sunday, April 14: San Jose at Vegas, 10 p.m., NBCSN

Tuesday, April 16: San Jose at Vegas, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN

Thursday, April 18: Vegas at San Jose, TBA

x-Sunday, April 21: San Jose at Vegas, TBA

x-Tuesday, April 23: Vegas at San Jose, TBA

Autoplay

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