Chicago Blackhawks Kick Off Stanley Cup Playoffs Thursday Night
By Colin Likas
As the NHL had important regular-season finales rolling into the night Sunday, the Chicago Blackhawks awaited their playoff schedule for a first-round series against the Nashville Predators
Remind the NHL never to schedule West Coast night games on the last day of the regular season. Those might turn out to be important, as Chicago Blackhawks and other fans found out Sunday while awaiting the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule.
After Anaheim pushed its game against Los Angeles to overtime (eventually winning), the field was set across the board. Here are the matchups in the Stanley Cup Playoffs’ first round:
Eastern Conference matchups
Montreal Canadiens vs. New York Rangers
Ottawa Senators vs. Boston Bruins
Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Western Conference matchups
Chicago Blackhawks vs. Nashville Predators
Minnesota Wild vs. St. Louis Blues
Anaheim Ducks vs. Calgary Flames
Edmonton Oilers vs. San Jose Sharks
The Blackhawks will be in the second group of teams kicking off the postseason, as they’ll start their series against Nashville at 7 p.m. Thursday. Much better than the 8:30 p.m. start Blackhawks fans are so used to (don’t worry, we’ll talk about that later).
The two teams will square off at the same time Saturday as well, again at the United Center. The reason the Blackhawks and Preds are starting Thursday is due to the Chicago Bulls having a game scheduled at the UC on Wednesday as well.
Blackhawks-Predators first-round schedule
Game 1: Thursday, 7 p.m. at United Center (Comcast SportsNet)
Game 2: Saturday, 7 p.m. at United Center (NBC)
Game 3: Monday, 8:30 p.m. at Bridgestone Arena (Comcast SportsNet)
Game 4: Thursday, April 20, TBD at Bridgestone Arena (TBD)
*Game 5: Saturday, April 22, TBD at United Center (TBD)
*Game 6: Monday, April 24, TBD at Bridgestone Arena (TBD)
*Game 7: Wednesday, April 26, TBD at United Center (TBD)
Sadly, the 8:30 p.m. start returns for Game 3 of this series, sure to make everyone happy early in the week. Another scheduling conflict cropped up for Game 4, as Bridgestone is slated to host a Neil Diamond concert next Wednesday. So that game will be Thursday at a to-be-determined time.
You’ll get the voices of Pat Foley and (probably) Steve Konroyd for the CSN games, unless Ed Olczyk is freed up from national commitments for Games 1 and 3. No doubt he’ll be on the call for NBC in Game 2.
Next: 3 Key Players For Chicago, Nashville
We’ll have more on the Blackhawks-Predators series over the next several days, in addition to what we’ve already produced. So stay tuned for that. Until then, here’s the rest of the Stanley Cup Playoffs schedule for the opening round.