2021 NHL playoff schedule: full installment, dates, times, TV channels for each series

After a 56-game sprint and some delays related to COVID-19, the 2021 Stanley Cup playoffs have officially arrived.

The most thrilling, thrilling and – if you’re a fan of a hunting team – the most nerve-racking playoffs kicks off on Saturday when the Capitals host the Bruins.

Things are a little different this year – if you haven’t already noticed that the Capitals and Bruins go head to head in the first round. Due to COVID-19 protocols restricting travel at the start of the season and the closure of the Canada-U.S. Border, teams have been split into one of four divisions. There won’t be a Western Conference or Eastern Conference champion and the playoffs are structured differently, which we’ll dig into a bit.

AFTER: Watch NHL Playoff games live and on demand with fuboTV (7 day trial)

The only thing familiar this year is that the road to winning the Lord Stanley Cup will be long and winding, but the end will be so sweet. Who will be those who will drink from the biggest trophy in sport? Only time will tell.

Until then, below you’ll find everything you need to know to watch the 2021 NHL Playoffs, including series-by-series TV shows and live stream information.

2021 NHL Playoff Support

  • Montreal def. Toronto, 4-3
  • Winnipeg def. Edmonton, 4-0
  • Colorado def. Saint-Louis, 4-0
  • Vegas def. Minnesota, 4-3
  • Tampa Bay def. Florida, 4-2
  • Caroline def. Nashville, 4-2
  • Boston def. Washington, 4-1
  • New York def. Pittsburgh, 4-2

Second turn:

  • Montreal def. Winnipeg, 4-0
  • Tampa Bay def. Caroline, 4-1
  • Vegas leads Colorado, 3-2
  • New York def. Boston, 4-2

Semi-finals:

  • Montreal vs winner of Vegas / Colorado
  • Tampa Bay vs. New York

2021 NHL Qualifiers: TV Channels, Live Stream

The 2021 playoffs mark the last year the NBC family of networks will broadcast the NHL’s road to the Stanley Cup. The first round matches will be broadcast on NHL Network and NBC channels in the United States, while in Canada the matches will be broadcast on FX, FXX, Sportsnet and CBC.

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

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

PREDICTIONS FOR THE STANLEY CUP: Sporting News’ 2021 NHL playoff picks

How will the NHL playoffs work in 2021?

Here’s a quick look at how the 2021 playoffs work, with each series being best of seven:

  • Four teams from each division advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs. The first round clashes will be No.1 against No.4 and No.2 against No.3 in each division.
  • The first round winners of each division will then compete against each other to determine the division champion.
  • Once the four division winners are crowned, they will face off in the Stanley Cup semifinals. The standings for this round will be based on the points total for the regular season.
  • The winners of the semi-finals will meet in the Stanley Cup Final.

NHL Playoff Schedule, Results by Series

(All Eastern hours)

Second turn

East Division: (3) Boston Bruins vs. (4) New York Islanders

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Sat 29 May in Boston BOS, 5-2 (BOS leads 1-0)
Mon May 31 in Boston JNI, 4-3 (OT) (Series tied 1-1)
Thu 3 June At New York BOS, 2-1 (OT) (BOS leads 2-1)
Sat June 5 At New York JNI, 4-1 (Series tied 2-2)
Mon, June 7 in Boston JNI, 5-4 (JNI leads 3-2)
Wednesday June 9 At New York NYI, 6-2 (NYI wins series 4-2)

(* If necessary)

2ND ROUND: Predictions, picks, odds and breakdowns for each series

North Division: (3) Winnipeg Jets vs. (4) Montreal Canadiens

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Wed 2 June in Winnipeg MTL, 5-3 (MTL leads 1-0)
Fri June 4 in Winnipeg MTL, 1-0 (MTL leads 2-0)
Sun 6 June to Montreal MTL, 5-1 (MTL leads 3-0)
Mon, June 7 to Montreal MTL, 3-2 (OT) (MTL wins series 4-0)

(* If necessary)

Central Division: (1) Carolina Hurricanes vs. (3) Tampa Bay Lightning

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Result
Sun 30 May to Caroline TBL, 2-1 (TBL leads 1-0)
Tue June 1 to Caroline TBL, 2-1 (TBL leads 2-0)
Thu 3 June in Tampa Bay CAR, 3-2 (OT) (TBL leads 2-1)
Sat June 5 in Tampa Bay TBL, 6-4 (TBL leads 3-1)
Tue 8 June to Caroline TBL, 2-0 (TBL wins series 4-1)

(* If necessary)

West Division: (1) Colorado Avalanche vs. (2) Vegas Golden Knights

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Sun 30 May in Colorado COL, 7-1 (COL leads 1-0)
Wed 2 June in Colorado COL, 3-2 (OT) (COL leads 2-0)
Fri June 4 in Vegas VGK, 3-2 (COL leads 2-1)
Sun 6 June in Vegas VGK, 5-1 (Series tied 2-2)
Tue 8 June in Colorado VGK, 3-2 (OT) (VGK leads 3-2)
Thu 10 June in Vegas 9 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)
*Sat. June 12 in Colorado 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN, SN, CBC, TVA Sports)

(* If necessary)

First round

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Sun May 16 in Pittsburgh JNI, 4-3 (OT) (JNI leads 1-0)
Tue 18 May in Pittsburgh PIT, 2-1 (Series tied 1-1)
Fall., May 20 At New York PIT, 5-4 (PIT leads 2-1)
Sat 22 May At New York JNI, 4-1 (Series tied 2-2)
Mon 24 May in Pittsburgh JNI, 3-2 (2OT) (JNI leads 3-2)
Wednesday May 26 At New York NYI, 5-3 (NYI wins series 4-2)

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Sat 15 May in Washington WSH, 3-2 (OT) (WSH leads 1-0)
Mon May 17 in Washington BOS, 4-3 (OT) (Series tied 1-1)
Wed 19 May in Boston BOS, 3-2 (2OT) (BOS leads 2-1)
Fri May 21 in Boston BOS, 4-1 (BOS leads 3-1)
Sun 23 May in Washington BOS, 3-1 (BOS wins series 4-1)

EAST DIVISION: Stanley Cup Predictions, Odds, Breakdowns, Predictions

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Fall., May 20 in Toronto MTL, 2-1 (MTL leads 1-0)
Sat 22 May in Toronto TOR, 5-1 (Series tied 1-1)
Mon 24 May to Montreal TOR, 2-1 (TOR leads 2-1)
Tue 25 May to Montreal TOR, 4-0 (TOR leads 3-1)
Fall, May 27 in Toronto MTL, 4-3 (OT) (TOR leads 3-2)
Sat 29 May to Montreal MTL, 3-2 (OT) (Series tied 3-3)
Mon May 31 in Toronto MTL, 3-1 (MTL wins series 3-3)

(* If necessary)

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

North Division: Series predictions, odds, distributions, Stanley Cup predictions

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Mon May 17 to Caroline CAR, 5-2 (CAR leads 1-0)
Wed 19 May to Caroline CAR, 3-0 (CAR leads 2-0)
Fri May 21 in Nashville NSH, 5-4 (2OT) (CAR leads 2-1)
Sun 23 May in Nashville NSH, 4-3 (OT) (Series tied 2-2)
Tue 25 May to Caroline CAR, 3-2 (OT) (CAR leads 3-2)
Fall, May 27 in Nashville CAR, 4-3 (OT) (CAR wins series 4-2)

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Sun May 16 in Florida TBL, 5-4 (TBL leads 1-0)
Tue 18 May in Florida TBL, 3-1 (TBL leads 2-0)
Fall., May 20 in Tampa Bay FLA, 6-5 (OT) (TBL leads 2-1)
Sat 22 May in Tampa Bay TBL, 6-2 (TBL leads 3-1)
Mon 24 May in Florida FLA, 4-1 (TBL leads 3-2)
Wednesday May 26 in Tampa Bay TBL, 4-0 (TBL wins series 4-2)

CENTRAL DIVISION: Stanley Cup Predictions, Odds, Breakdowns, Predictions

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Mon May 17 in Colorado COL, 4-1 (COL leads 1-0)
Wed 19 May in Colorado COL, 6-3 (COL leads 2-0)
Fri May 21 in Saint-Louis COL, 5-1 (COL leads 3-0)
Sun 23 May in Saint-Louis COL, 5-2 (COL wins the series 4-0)

WEST DIVISION: Stanley Cup Predictions, Odds, Breakdowns, Predictions

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

Dated Match Time (TV channel) / Results
Sun May 16 in Vegas MIN, 1-0 (OT) (MIN leads 1-0)
Tue 18 May in Vegas VGK, 3-1 (Series tied 1-1)
Fall., May 20 in minnesota VGK, 5-2 (VGK leads 2-1)
Sat 22 May in minnesota VGK, 3-0 (VGK leads 3-1)
Mon 24 May in Vegas MIN, 4-2 (VGK leads 3-2)
Wednesday May 26 in minnesota MIN, 3-0 (Series tied 3-3)
Fri 28 May in Vegas VGK, 6-2 (VGK wins series 4-3)

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