The 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are all set to begin on Wednesday with the start of the first round. 16 teams will face off in arguably the most grueling postseason in sports to earn the right to hoist the Stanley Cup. After a season of new faces coming to the top of the league while traditional contenders fell out of the picture, these playoffs could be one of the most interesting to follow in quite a while.

If you’re still not familiar with the Stanley Cup Playoff format that changed last season, here’s a refresher of how it works: the first two rounds are structured by the league’s four divisions. The top three teams in the division are locked into their divisions while the two best teams in each conference that didn’t finish in the top 3 of their division earn a wild-card berth. Although it worked out for the second year in a row so that three wild card teams stay in their division, once again a second Central Division team will be playing in the Pacific Division bracket. That means for the sake of the first two rounds, the Winnipeg Jets are playing with the Pacific Division rather than their own. The conference finals and Stanley Cup Final format remain the same, as does the fact that each round is best of 7 and has a 2 home-2 away-home-away-home format.

Here’s a look at the first round matchups in this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs (*- signifies “if necessary”).

Western Conference

St. Louis Blues vs. Minnesota Wild

Thursday, April 16 9:30 p.m. Minnesota at St. Louis NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports

Saturday, April 18 3 p.m. Minnesota at St. Louis NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Monday, April 20 8 p.m. St. Louis at Minnesota CNBC, SN ONE, TVA Sports

Wednesday, April 22 9:30 p.m. St. Louis at Minnesota NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports

*Friday, April 24 TBD Minnesota at St. Louis TBD

*Sunday, April 26 TBD St. Louis at Minnesota TBD

*Wednesday, April 29 TBD Minnesota at St. Louis TBD

Nashville Predators vs. Chicago Blackhawks

Wednesday, April 15 8:30 p.m. Chicago at Nashville NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports

Friday, April 17 9:30 p.m. Chicago at Nashville NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Sunday, April 19 3 p.m. Nashville at Chicago NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Tuesday, April 21 9:30 p.m. Nashville at Chicago NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

*Thursday, April 23 TBD Chicago at Nashville TBD

*Saturday, April 25 TBD Nashville at Chicago TBD

*Monday, April 27 TBD Chicago at Nashville TBD

Anaheim Ducks vs. Winnipeg Jets

Thursday, April 16 10:30 p.m. Winnipeg at Anaheim CNBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Saturday, April 18 10:30 p.m. Winnipeg at Anaheim NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Monday, April 20 9 p.m. Anaheim at Winnipeg Sportsnet, TVA Sports, NBCSN

Wednesday, April 22 9:30 p.m. Anaheim at Winnipeg Sportsnet, TVA Sports, USA

*Friday, April 24 TBD Winnipeg at Anaheim Sportsnet

*Sunday, April 26 TBD Anaheim at Winnipeg Sportsnet

*Tuesday, April 28 TBD Winnipeg at Anaheim Sportsnet

Vancouver Canucks vs. Calgary Flames

Wednesday, April 15 10 p.m. Calgary at Vancouver CBC, TVA Sports, USA

Friday, April 17 10 p.m. Calgary at Vancouver CBC, TVA Sports, CNBC

Sunday, April 19 10 p.m. Vancouver at Calgary CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN

Tuesday, April 21 10 p.m. Vancouver at Calgary CBC, TVA Sports, USA

*Thursday, April 23 TBD Calgary at Vancouver CBC

*Saturday, April 25 TBD Vancouver at Calgary CBC

*Monday, April 27 TBD Calgary at Vancouver CBC

Eastern Conference

Montreal Canadiens vs. Ottawa Senators

Wednesday, April 15 7 p.m. Ottawa at Montreal CBC, TVA Sports, NHL Network

Friday, April 17 7 p.m. Ottawa at Montreal CBC, TVA Sports, CNBC

Sunday, April 19 7 p.m. Montreal at Ottawa CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN

Wednesday, April 22 7 p.m. Montreal at Ottawa CBC, TVA Sports, USA

*Friday, April 24 TBD Ottawa at Montreal CBC

*Sunday, April 26 TBD Montreal at Ottawa CBC

*Tuesday, April 28 TBD Ottawa at Montreal CBC

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings

Thursday, April 16 7:30 p.m. Detroit at Tampa Bay CNBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Saturday, April 18 3 p.m. Detroit at Tampa Bay NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

Tuesday, April 21 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Detroit NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Thursday, April 23 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Detroit NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

*Saturday, April 25 TBD Detroit at Tampa Bay TBD

*Monday, April 27 TBD Tampa Bay at Detroit TBD

*Wednesday, April 29 TBD Detroit at Tampa Bay TBD

New York Rangers vs. Detroit Red Wings

Thursday, April 16 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Saturday, April 18 8 p.m. Pittsburgh at NY Rangers NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

Monday, April 20 7 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Wednesday, April 22 7 p.m. NY Rangers at Pittsburgh NBCSN, SN 360, TVA Sports

*Friday, April 24 TBD Pittsburgh at NY Rangers TBD

*Sunday, April 26 TBD NY Rangers at Pittsburgh TBD

*Tuesday, April 28 TBD Pittsburgh at NY Rangers TBD

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders

Wednesday, April 15 7 p.m. NY Islanders at Washington USA, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Friday, April 17 7 p.m. NY Islanders at Washington NBCSN, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Sunday, April 19 Noon Washington at NY Islanders NBC, Sportsnet, TVA Sports

Tuesday, April 21 7:30 p.m. Washington at NY Islanders USA, SN 360, TVA Sports

*Thursday, April 23 TBD NY Islanders at Washington TBD

*Saturday, April 25 TBD Washington at NY Islanders TBD

*Monday, April 27 TBD NY Islanders at Washington TBD

 

The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off Wednesday night. Games can be seen on NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA, and NHL Network in the United States and CBC, Sportsnet, SN 360, or TVA in Canada.

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