Your Complete Guide to the NHL Playoff Schedule: Dates, Times, and Matchups

The NHL playoffs are one of the most exciting times of the year for hockey fans all around the world. As teams battle it out on the ice for a chance at the Stanley Cup, fans eagerly await each matchup, hoping to see their favorite team make it to the finals. If you’re a hockey enthusiast looking for information on the NHL playoff schedule, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, we will provide you with all the essential details you need to know about dates, times, and matchups.

Understanding the Playoff Format

The NHL playoff format consists of four rounds: The First Round, The Second Round (also known as Conference Semifinals), The Conference Finals (also known as Third Round), and The Stanley Cup Finals. Each round follows a best-of-seven series format where teams must win four games to advance. The team with home-ice advantage hosts games 1, 2, 5, and 7 in their respective series.

Dates and Times for Each Round

The dates for each round of the NHL playoffs can vary from year to year depending on factors such as regular-season length and scheduling conflicts with other events. However, there is a general timeline that can help fans anticipate when each round will take place. The First Round typically begins in mid-April and lasts for about two weeks. The Second Round follows shortly after and usually concludes by late May or early June.

The Conference Finals usually start in mid-to-late May and are over within two weeks. Finally, The Stanley Cup Finals typically begin in late May or early June and can last up to two weeks or longer if additional games are needed.

As for game times, they can differ depending on various factors such as time zones and television broadcasting schedules. Typically, weekday games start around 7 PM or 8 PM local time, while weekend games can have earlier start times to accommodate larger audiences.

Matchups and Rivalries to Watch

The NHL playoffs often bring about intense rivalries and exciting matchups between teams. As the competition progresses, the matchups become even more thrilling. Keep an eye out for historic rivalries such as the Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens or the Chicago Blackhawks vs. St. Louis Blues.

In recent years, there have also been emerging rivalries like the Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins or the Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Boston Bruins. These matchups not only showcase skillful play but also ignite passionate fan bases.

Where to Find the Official Schedule

For the most accurate and up-to-date NHL playoff schedule, it’s always best to refer to official sources such as the NHL website or official team websites. These platforms provide comprehensive schedules that include dates, times, and TV broadcast information.

Additionally, many sports news outlets and apps offer NHL playoff schedule updates and notifications, allowing fans to stay informed on their favorite team’s upcoming games.


The NHL playoffs are a thrilling time for hockey fans everywhere. By understanding the playoff format, keeping track of important dates and times for each round, and staying informed about exciting matchups and rivalries, you can fully immerse yourself in this exhilarating tournament. Remember to check official sources for accurate schedule information and get ready to cheer on your favorite team as they strive for glory on their journey towards hoisting the coveted Stanley Cup.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.