NHL fans will have plenty of time to get excited when the league officially launches its 2017-18 season on March 16, as the league’s playoffs are set to begin on April 4.
The NHL’s playoff format is simple: the best team wins its division and the rest of the playoff field is determined by the following rules:The first division winner will move to the next one, while the loser will play in the next division.
The second division winner and third division loser will join the third-place team in the first division, while third- and fourth-place teams will join each other in the second division.
The first playoff game of each division will be played in front of a capacity crowd at the Spectrum Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
The game will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and streamed on NHL GameCenter.
The remaining games will be streamed on NBCSports.com, NBCSportsLive.com and the NBC Sports app.
The playoff schedule will be posted online in advance, with games to be played on April 6 and 7.
The final playoff spot will be decided by the final vote from the regular season.
In 2017-19, there are more than 600 games on offer in the playoffs, including four games each in the Atlantic, Central and Pacific Divisions, three games each from the Western Conference, two games each between the Central and Eastern Conference Divisions and two games apiece from the National Hockey League’s Central and Metropolitan Divisions.
The top three teams from each division advance to the second round, while those in the bottom three teams go home to the Western Hockey League.
The playoffs are the NHL’s biggest sporting event and offer fans unprecedented opportunities to watch the best teams and players in the world compete in front a live audience.
The games begin at 6 p.m.
ET (local time) and will air on NBCSN and NBCSports Live Extra beginning at 6:30 p.n.m., 7:30 a.m.-8:30 m.m.; and 7:45 a.l.m-8:45 p.l., 7 p.p.m.–and 7:50 a.t.m./6 p.t., on NBC.
The playoffs are broadcast live online on NBCSUN and NBC Sports GO.
To watch the NHL playoffs on your phone, visit NHL.com/playoffs or on your TV with NBC Sports LIVE Extra, NBC Sports Go and NBC NOW.
The NHL will also stream the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs live on the NHL.TV app and mobile devices, starting April 4 and continuing through the conclusion of the regular-season games on April 20.
On April 6, the 2018 Stanley Cup Finals will take place at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, with the top two teams from that series going to the Stanley Cup Final and the bottom two teams going home.
The finals will be held in Columbus and broadcast live at 10 p.a.m, 10:30 pacific.
The 2017 Stanley Cups were won by the Los Angeles Kings and the Detroit Red Wings.
Both teams won Stanley Cups during the 2016-17 regular season, and both won a second Stanley Cup during the regular campaign in 2017-2018.
The top four teams from the 2017-20 regular season will advance to next season’s Stanley Cup playoffs.
The standings from the NHL regular season for each divisional and playoff series will be published on NHL.tv and NHL.ca/playoff/calendar.
In 2018-19 and beyond, NHL.net will continue to provide detailed standings for all 30 teams in the league.
For more information on all the NHL playoff schedules, as well as the standings for the 2017 Cup Finals, check out NHL.org/playback.