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NHL playoffs schedule 2021: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels for every series

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NHL playoffs schedule 2021: Full bracket, dates, times, TV channels for every series


After a 56-game sprint and a few COVID-19-related delays, the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs are officially here.

The most heart-stopping, enthralling and — if you’re a fan of a team in the chase — nerve-wracking playoffs will begin Saturday when the Capitals host the Bruins.

Things are a little different this year — if you didn’t already notice from the Capitals and the Bruins matching up in the first round. Because of COVID-19 protocols limiting travel at the beginning of the season and the closure of the Canada-U.S. border, teams were slotted into one of four divisions. There will not be a Western Conference or Eastern Conference champion and the playoffs are structured differently, which we’ll delve into in a bit.

MORE: Watch NHL playoff games live & on demand with fuboTV (7-day trial)

The one familiar thing this year is that the road to lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup will be a long and winding one but the end will taste oh, so sweet. Who will be the ones to drink from sports’ greatest trophy? Only time will tell. 

Until then, below you’ll find everything to know about watching the 2021 NHL playoffs, including series-by-series TV schedules and live streaming information.

2021 NHL playoffs bracket

(SN Illustration)

NHL playoffs 2021: TV channels, live stream

The 2021 postseason marks the final year NBC’s family of networks will broadcast the NHL’s road to the Stanley Cup. First-round games will be shown on NHL Network and across NBC channels in the United, while in Canada games will be shown on FX, FXX, Sportsnet’s channels and CBC.

In Canada, Chris Cuthbert and Craig Simpson will describe the Maple Leafs-Canadiens series while Harnarayan Singh and Louie DeBrusk will bring fans Oilers-Jets. David Amber and Ron McLean will be the studio anchors and will be joined by a rotating crew of analysts and insiders.

NBC will also employ a rotating crew that will include play-by-play announcers Kenny Albert, John Forslund and Brendan Burke and analysts Eddie Olczyk, AJ Mleczko and Dominic Moore.

How will the NHL playoffs work in 2021?

Here’s a quick overview of how the 2021 postseason will work, with every series being a best of seven:

  • Four teams from each division advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs. First-round matchups will be No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 in each division.
  • The first-round winners in each division will then face off to determine the division champion.
  • Once the four division winners are crowned, they’ll meet in the Stanley Cup semifinals. Seeding for this round will be based on regular-season point totals.
  • The semifinal winners will meet in the Stanley Cup Final. 

NHL playoffs schedule, results by series

(All times Eastern)

First round

East Division: (1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (4) New York Islanders

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Sun., May 16 at Pittsburgh Noon (NBC, SN, TVA Sports)
Tue., May 18 at Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Thu., May 20 at New York 7 p.m. (NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports)
Sat., May 22 at New York 3 p.m. (NBC, SN, TVA Sports)
*Mon., May 24 at Pittsburgh TBD
*Wed., May 26 at New York TBD
*Fri., May 28 at Pittsburgh TBD

(* If necessary)

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East Division: (2) Washington Capitals vs. (3) Boston Bruins

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Sat., May 15 at Washington WSH, 3-2 (OT) (WSH leads 1-0)
Mon., May 17 at Washington 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Wed., May 19 at Boston 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SN360, TVA Sports)
Fri., May 21 at Boston 6:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SNE, SNO, SNP, SN360, TVA Sports)
*Sun., May 23 at Washington TBD
*Tue., May 25 at Boston TBD
*Thu., May 27 at Washington TBD

(* If necessary)

North Division: (1) Toronto Maple Leafs vs. (4) Montreal Canadiens

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Thu., May 20 at Toronto 7:30 p.m. (NHL Network, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Sat., May 22 at Toronto 7 p.m. (CNBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports, OMNI)
Mon., May 24 at Montreal TBD
Tue., May 25 at Montreal TBD
*Thu., May 27 at Toronto TBD
*Sat., May 29 at Montreal TBD
*Mon., May 31 at Toronto TBD

(* If necessary)

North Division: (2) Edmonton Oilers vs. (3) Winnipeg Jets

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Wed., May 19 at Edmonton 9 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Fri., May 21 at Edmonton 9 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
Sun., May 23 at Winnipeg TBD
Mon., May 24 at Winnipeg TBD
*Wed., May 26 at Edmonton TBD
*Fri., May 28 at Winnipeg TBD
*Sun., May 30 at Edmonton TBD

(* If necessary)

Central Division: (1) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (4) Nashville Predators

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Mon., May 17 at Carolina 8 p.m. (CNBC, SNE, TVA Sports)
Wed., May 19 at Carolina 8 p.m. (CNBC, FX-CA, TVA Sports)
Fri., May 21 at Nashville 7 p.m. (USA, FXX-CA, TVA Sports)
Sun., May 23 at Nashville TBD
*Tue., May 25 at Carolina TBD
*Thu., May 27 at Nashville TBD
*Sat., May 29 at Carolina TBD

(* If necessary)

MORE: Tripp Tracy talks playoffs and why one Canes star ranks with Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews

Central Division: (2) Florida Panthers vs. (3) Tampa Bay Lightning

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Sun., May 16 at Florida 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports)
Tue., May 18 at Florida 8 p.m. (CNBC, SNE, TVA Sports)
Thu., May 20 at Tampa Bay 6:30 p.m. (USA, FX-CA, TVA Sports)
Sat., May 22 at Tampa Bay 12:30 p.m. (CNBC, SN, TVA Sports)
*Mon., May 24 at Florida TBD
*Wed., May 26 at Tampa Bay TBD
*Fri., May 28 at Florida TBD

(* If necessary)

West Division: (1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (4) St. Louis Blues

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Mon., May 17 at Colorado 10 p.m. (NBCSN, SN1, TVA Sports)
Wed., May 19 at Colorado 10:30 p.m. (CNBC, SN360, TVA Sports)
Fri., May 21 at St. Louis 9:30 p.m. (USA, SN360, TVA Sports)
Sun., May 23 at St. Louis TBD
*Tue., May 25 at Colorado TBD
*Thu., May 27 at St. Louis TBD
*Sat., May 29 at Colorado TBD

(* If necessary)

West Division: (2) Vegas Golden Knights vs. (3) Minnesota Wild

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Sun., May 16 at Vegas 3 p.m. (NBC, SN, TVA Sports)
Tue., May 18 at Vegas 10 p.m. (NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports)
Thu., May 20 at Minnesota 9:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SN360, TVA Sports)
Sat., May 22 at Minnesota 8 p.m. (NBC, SN360, TVA Sports)
*Mon., May 24 at Vegas TBD
*Wed., May 26 at Minnesota TBD
*Fri., May 28 at Vegas TBD

(* If necessary)





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