When do the NHL playoffs start? First-round schedule, odds for 2020 Stanley Cup chase
The 2019-20 NHL regular season is drawing to a close and the playoff push is in full swing.
Current favorites for the Stanley Cup include the Vegas Golden Knights, who recently traded for defenseman Alec Martinez and goalie Robin Lehner, and expected Presidents’ Trophy winners the Boston Bruins. The Tampa Bay Lightning are also a hot pick as they try to erase the embarrassment of a first-round exit last season.
Is this finally the year for Tampa Bay? Will Boston reclaim its spot on top of the hockey world? Could the St. Louis Blues go back-to-back? Or will another team surprise everybody this spring?
Only time will tell.
Below is everything you need to get you ready for the 2020 postseason.
When do the NHL playoffs start?
The first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs is slated to begin on Wednesday, April 8.
How do the Stanley Cup playoffs work?
Eight teams from each conference qualify. Each best-of-seven series is played in a 2–2–1–1–1 format, and the winners advance to the next round.
In the first round, the top seed in each conference plays the second wild-card winner while the other division winner plays the first wild card. In each division, the second and third place teams battle it out to see who will advance to the conference semifinals.
Teams that advance to the conference semifinals face off against the remainder of their bracket to determine who will play in the conference final.
NHL playoff schedule
This section will be updated when the information becomes available.