Stanley Cup NHL playoffs 2018: First round matchups set

The NHL regular season ended Sunday, and the seeding for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs is now finalized, with the first round beginning on Wednesday.

The Nashville Predators secured the Presidents Trophy with the best record in the league (53-18-11), finishing with 117 points. Winners of the Central Division, the Preds in the first round will take on the Colorado Avalanche, winners of the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. Colorado clinched their playoff berth on Saturday night with a win over the St. Louis Blues, who just missed the postseason.

The big surprise out West, and in the entire league for that matter, are the Vegas Golden Knights who won the Pacific Division in their very first year. Vegas is the first NHL expansion team to reach the playoffs in their inaugural season.

In the Eastern Conference the Tampa Bay Lightning won the Atlantic Division with 113 points to earn the top seed in the conference. The Lightning will host the wild card New Jersey Devils in the first round.

There was only one game on Sunday, the final day of the regular season. The Boston Bruins had a chance to clinch the top seed in the East with a home win against the already-eliminated Florida Panthers, but instead suffered a 4-2 loss, making the Bruins the No. 2 seed in the Atlantic.

The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins finished second in the Metropolitan Division and will open their defense against the in-state rival Philadelphia Flyers. Should Pittsburgh advance a potential second-round matchup looms with the division-winning Washington Captials, whom Pittsburgh has knocked out of the playoffs in each of the last two seasons.

All series in the Stanley Cup playoffs are best-of-7 with a 2-2-1-1-1 format.

Stanley Cup Playoffs first round matchups

Eastern Conference

Metropolitan Division

Washington Capitals (M1) vs Columbus Blue Jackets (WC1)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Thu, Apr 12 Blue Jackets at Capitals 7:30 p.m. USA, SN360, TVA
2 Sun, Apr 15 Blue Jackets at Capitals 7:30 p.m. NBCSN, SN360, TVA
3 Tue, Apr 17 Capitals at Blue Jackets 7:30 p.m. NBCSN, SN360, TVA
4 Thu, Apr 19 Capitals at Blue Jackets 7:30 p.m. USA, SN, TVA
5* Sat, Apr 21 Blue Jackets at Capitals TBD TBD
6* Mon, Apr 23 Capitals at Blue Jackets TBD TBD
7* Wed, Apr 25 Blue Jackets at Capitals TBD TBD

Pittsburgh Penguins (M2) vs Philadelphia Flyers (M3)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Wed, Apr 11 Flyers at Penguins 7 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
2 Fri, Apr 13 Flyers at Penguins 7 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
3 Sun, Apr 15 Penguins at Flyers 3 p.m. NBC, CBC, TVA
4 Wed, Apr 18 Penguins at Flyers 7 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
5* Fri, Apr 20 Flyers at Penguins TBD TBD
6* Sun, Apr 22 Penguins at Flyers TBD TBD
7* Tue, Apr 24 Flyers at Penguins TBD TBD

Atlantic Division

Tampa Bay Lightning (A1) vs New Jersey Devils (WC2)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Thu, Apr 12 Devils at Lightning 7 p.m. NHLN, SN, TVA
2 Sat, Apr 14 Devils at Lightning 3 p.m. NBC, CNBC, SN360, TVA
3 Mon, Apr 16 Lightning at Devils 7:30 p.m. CNBC, SN, TVA
4 Wed, Apr 18 Lightning at Devils 7:30 p.m. Golf, SN, TVA
5* Sat, Apr 21 Devils at Lightning TBD TBD
6* Mon, Apr 23 Lightning at Devils TBD TBD
7* Wed, Apr 25 Devils at Lightning TBD TBD

Boston Bruins (A2) vs Toronto Maple Leafs (A3)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Thu, Apr 12 Maple Leafs at Bruins 7 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
2 Sat, Apr 14 Maple Leafs at Bruins 8 p.m. NBC, CBC, TVA
3 Mon, Apr 16 Bruins at Maple Leafs 7 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
4 Thu, Apr 19 Bruins at Maple Leafs 7 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
5* Sat, Apr 21 Maple Leafs at Bruins TBD TBD
6* Mon, Apr 23 Bruins at Maple Leafs TBD TBD
7* Wed, Apr 25 Maple Leafs at Bruins TBD TBD

Western Conference

Central Division

Nashville Predators (C1) vs. Colorado Avalanche (WC2)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Thu, Apr 12 Avalanche at Predators 9:30 p.m. NBCSN, SN, TVA
2 Sat, Apr 14 Avalanche at Predators 3 p.m. NBC, CNBC, SN, TVA
3 Mon, Apr 16 Predators at Avalanche 10 p.m. NBCSN, SN, TVA
4 Wed, Apr 18 Predators at Avalanche 10 p.m. NBCSN, SN, TVA
5* Fri, Apr 20 Avalanche at Predators TBD TBD
6* Sun, Apr 22 Predators at Avalanche TBD TBD
7* Tue, Apr 24 Avalanche at Predators TBD TBD

Winnipeg Jets (C2) vs Minnesota Wild (C3)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Wed, Apr 11 Wild at Jets 7 p.m. CNBC, SN, TVA
2 Fri, Apr 13 Wild at Jets 7:30 p.m. USA, SN, TVA
3 Sun, Apr 15 Jets at Wild 7 p.m. USA, SN, TVA
4 Tue, Apr 17 Jets at Wild 8 p.m. CNBC, SN, TVA
5* Fri, Apr 20 Wild at Jets TBD TBD
6* Sun, Apr 22 Jets at Wild TBD TBD
7* Wed, Apr 25 Wild at Jets TBD TBD

Pacific Division

Vegas Golden Knights (P1) vs Los Angeles Kings (WC1)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Wed, Apr 11 Kings at Golden Knights 10 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
2 Fri, Apr 13 Kings at Golden Knights 10 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
3 Sun, Apr 15 Golden Knights at Kings 10:30 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
4 Tue, Apr 17 Golden Knights at Kings 10:30 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
5* Thu, Apr 19 Kings at Golden Knights 10 p.m. NBCSN, CBC, TVA
6* Sat, Apr 21 Golden Knights at Kings TBD TBD
7* Mon, Apr 23 Kings at Golden Knights TBD TBD

Anaheim Ducks (P2) vs San Jose Sharks (P3)

Game Date Matchup Time (ET) TV
1 Thu, Apr 12 Sharks at Ducks 10:30 p.m. USA, SN360, TVA
2 Sat, Apr 14 Sharks at Ducks 10:30 p.m. NBCSN, SN360, TVA
3 Mon, Apr 16 Ducks at Sharks 10:30 p.m. CNBC, SN1, TVA
4 Wed, Apr 18 Ducks at Sharks 10:30 p.m. Golf, SN1, TVA
5* Fri, Apr 20 Sharks at Ducks TBD TBD
6* Sun, Apr 22 Ducks at Sharks TBD TBD
7* Tue, Apr 24 Sharks at Ducks TBD TBD

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