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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

  • TV (U.S.): NBC, NBCSN, USA, CNBC, NHLN
  • TV (Canada):  Sportsnet, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360, CBC, FX, FXX and OMNI
  • Stream (U.S.): NBC Sports.com | fuboTV (free trial)
  • Stream (Canada): SN Now, SN NOW+, NHL Live
  • Live scores: SN Scoreboard

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)

MORE:  Islanders legend Bryan Trottier enters NFT world with works commemorating HOF career

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

Date Matchup Time (TV channel)/Results
Sat., May 15 at Washington 7:15 p.m. (NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports, OMNI)
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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Why did Rick Carlisle return to Pacers? Roster, familiarity — and the money helps, too

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Why did Rick Carlisle return to Pacers? Roster, familiarity — and the money helps, too

Rick Carlisle is the head coach of the Pacers … again.

The championship-winning coach who recently parted ways with the Dallas Mavericks has reportedly signed a four-year, $29 million pact to return to Indiana’s bench, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.

Carlisle signing this quickly with a team was a mild surprise, signing with the Pacers even moreso. While the Pacers parted ways with head coach Nate Bjorkgren soon after the final whistle blew on Indiana’s season, no real reports suggested Carlisle’s candidacy before news of his hiring broke on Thursday.

Here’s what we know about the hiring:

Why did the Pacers hire Rick Carlisle?

While the money certainly helps — the deal keeps Carlisle in the top 10 highest paid coaches in the Association — familiarity helped play into the decision, as well. Carlisle has two prior tenures in Indiana; First, between 1997 and 2000, when he was an assistant coach under Larry Bird. The second stint was as the team’s head coach between 2003 and 2007.

During his tenure, Carlisle helped guide Indiana to a central-division crown in 2003, and in four total seasons, the Pacers made the playoffs three times and the Eastern Conference finals once (2003).

Carlisle figured to be the hottest coaching commodity on the market for any number of teams looking for a new head coach, but the Pacers acted “quietly and quickly” to get Carlisle in their building, per Adrian Wojnarowski, putting off several other interviews to bring him and ink him to a deal.

The landing spot was attractive to Carlisle, as well: Speaking with ESPN’s MacMahon, Carlisle liked the roster built by GM Kevin Pritchard and what they could be moving forward.

“It’s a team of skilled, unselfish guys that play hard,” Carlisle said to MacMahon. “It’s always possible that moves could be made before the season, but I think [GM Kevin Pritchard] and I are both very excited about getting the roster healthy and seeing what this team can be.”

Carlisle and the Mavericks agreed to part ways on June 17 after another early-playoff exit, losing in seven games to the Clippers. Carlisle spent 13 years patrolling the bench for Dallas, winning an NBA championship in 2011. In all, Dallas made it to the playoffs nine times under Carlisle, losing in the first round in seven of those trips.

Multiple reports indicated organizational turmoil within Dallas’ front office, though owner Mark Cuban vehemently denied the rumors. The Athletic detailed the dysfunction in June. 

 

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MLB world unites to slam hideous All-Star Game jerseys: ‘Worst baseball uniforms I’ve ever seen’

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MLB to move 2021 All-Star Game to Coors Field, reports say

A swing and a miss.

MLB All-Star Game uniforms oftentimes have some kind of tie-in to the town in which its played. Or, at least, it used to be that way.

This year, MLB and Nike paired up for new All-Star Game unis and they look like they were ripped from a late 1800s game of polo, with a middle-school student slapping some generic clipart font on the front with team abbreviation.

MORE: 7 players we want to see in the Home Run Derby

According to Chris Creamer of SportsLogos.Net, the uniforms will be worn during the All-Star Game, while players uniforms of their natural team will be worn during the Home Run Derby.

The hats, on the other hand, are fine, utilizing the purple (Purple Mountain’s Majesty, and all) on the star highlighting the team logo on the front.

This year’s All-Star Game shifts from Atlanta, Ga. to Colorado after MLB pulled out amid the introduction of Georgia’s controversial new voter laws, which many see as a clear attempt at voter supression.

MLB fans and analysts alike took to the Tweet machine on Thursday to crack jokes and voice their displeasure with the uniforms:

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Cigarettes and beer: Islanders fans show appreciation for Game 6 overtime win in unique way

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Cigarettes and beer: Islanders fans show appreciation for Game 6 overtime win in unique way

Whose tab is this on?

With the Islanders potentially playing their last game in historic, fan-favorite Long Island dump Nassau Coliseum on Wednesday night, Isles fans showed appreciation for the 3-2 overtime win over the Lightning the only way Long Islanders truly know how: Beer cans.

Soon after Anthony Beauvillier netted the overtime game-winner to even the series at 3 games apiece, Isles fans showered the sheet with hats, rally towels and (some presumably empty) beer cans. Thankfully, no Isles players were hit with the celebratory cans.

SPIEGEL: Islanders thrill their home fans one more time (at least)

While some analysts and media took offense to the sight, Isles players took it all in good fun. 

“That building coming into overtime was smelling like cigarettes, and now it smells like beers,” Isles winger Beauvillier said following his overtime winner. “That place was going crazy. Everyone’s happy we’re going back to Tampa.”

It’s not the first headline to feature the hoppy nectar at Islanders games: Jets offensive lineman Dan Feeney has become a cult hero of Isles fans, with his mulleted, beer-swilling ways on display at several Isles playoff matchups this offseason.

The Islanders’ new turf, UBS Arena, is scheduled to open in time for the 2021-22 NHL season. Before the Isles head down the Southern State Parkway to get to their new digs, though, they take a plane ride south to Tampa for Game 7 on Friday night.

No hockey players were injured in the hurtling of the cans.

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