NHL Playoffs Bracket 2022: Dates, Matchups, Game Times and TV Schedule Info

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NHL Playoffs Bracket 2022: Dates, Matchups, Game Times and TV Schedule Info

Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Florida Panthers had a magical regular season, finishing with the best record in the NHL for the first time in franchise history to capture the Presidents’ Trophy and home-ice advantage throughout the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. 

However, the Panthers could be the latest team in a long line of franchises that have captured the Presidents’ Trophy but failed to win the Stanley Cup. The last team to accomplish the feat, ending the regular season with the best record and winning the Stanley Cup, was the 2012-13 Chicago Blackhawks. 

That said, the Panthers will begin their quest for the Cup with a first-round series against the Washington Capitals, and it won’t be an easy matchup. 

With that in mind, here’s a look at the first-round matchups along with some predictions for some of the most significant ones. The first round begins on Monday, May 2. 


Eastern Conference

No. 1 Florida Panthers vs. WC2 Washington Capitals

Game 1: Tuesday, May 3 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 2: Thursday, May 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 3: Saturday, May 7 at 1 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 4: Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 5: Wednesday, May 11, time TBD

Game 6: Friday, May 13, time TBD

Game 7: Sunday, May 15, time TBD


No. 2 Toronto Maple Leafs vs. No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning 

Game 1: Monday, May 2 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 3: Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 4: Sunday, May 8 at 7 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 5: Tuesday, May 10, time TBD

Game 6: Thursday, May 12, time TBD

Game 7: Saturday, May 14, time TBD


No. 1 Carolina Hurricanes vs. WC1 Boston Bruins

Game 1: Monday, May 2 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 4 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 3: Friday, May 6 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 4: Sunday, May 8 at 12:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 5: Tuesday, May 10, time TBD

Game 6: Thursday, May 12, time TBD

Game 7: Saturday, May 14, time TBD


No. 2 New York Rangers vs. No. 3 Pittsburgh Penguins

Game 1: Tuesday, May 3 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 2: Thursday, May 5 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 3: Saturday, May 7 at 7 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 4: Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 5: Wednesday, May 11, time TBD

Game 6: Friday, May 13, time TBD

Game 7: Sunday, May 15, time TBD


Western Conference

No. 1 Colorado Avalanche vs. WC2 Nashville Predators

Game 1: Tuesday, May 3 at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 2: Thursday, May 5 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 3: Saturday, May 7 at 4:30 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 4: Monday, May 9 at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 5: Wednesday, May 11, time TBD

Game 6: Friday, May 13, time TBD

Game 7: Sunday, May 15, time TBD


No. 2 Minnesota Wild vs. No. 3 St. Louis Blues. 

Game 1: Monday, May 2 at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 4 at 9:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

Game 3: Friday, May 6 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 4: Sunday, May 8 at 4:30 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 5: Tuesday, May 10, time TBD

Game 6: Thursday, May 12, time TBD

Game 7: Saturday, May 14, time TBD


No. 1 Calgary Flames vs. WC1 Dallas Stars

Game 1: Tuesday, May 3 at 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 2: Thursday, May 5 at 10 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 3: Saturday, May 7 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TNT)

Game 4: Monday, May 9 at 9:30 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 5: Wednesday, May 11, time TBD

Game 6: Friday, May 13, time TBD

Game 7: Sunday, May 15, time TBD


No. 2 Edmonton Oilers vs. No. 3 Los Angeles Kings

Game 1: Monday, May 2 at 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 2: Wednesday, May 4 at 10 p.m. ET (ESPN2)

Game 3: Friday, May 6 at 10 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 4: Sunday, May 8 at 10 p.m. ET (TBS)

Game 5: Tuesday, May 10, time TBD

Game 6: Thursday, May 12, time TBD

Game 7: Saturday, May 14, time TBD


Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings

The Oilers are back in the playoffs for the third straight season, and Connor McDavid and Co. will be looking to move past the first round for the first time since the 2016-17 campaign. 

Edmonton’s first-round series against Los Angeles will be a challenge, but the Oilers defeated the Kings in three out of four meetings during the regular season.

The Oilers have been paced offensively by McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Zach Hyman this season. Both McDavid and Draisaitl tallied more than 100 points, while Hyman finished with more than 50.

Tyson Barrie, Evan Bouchard and Darnell Nurse have held down the fort on the back end, though Cody Ceci, Philip Broberg, Duncan Keith, Brett Kulak and Kris Russell have also played well defensively. 

Mikko Koskinen spent most of the time in goal for Edmonton this season and will likely be in position during the postseason. However, Mike Smith also played well and could step in if needed. 

The Kings, meanwhile, have been led by veterans Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown. The trio played a significant role in L.A.’s 2012 and 2014 Stanley Cup championships and will be looking to make an impact against a speedy Oilers team.

That said, the Kings have also received contributions from several young players this year, including Arthur Kaliyev and Quinton Byfield, though they’ll need to play much better in the playoffs if L.A. wants a chance to win.

The Oilers and Kings have not met in the postseason since the first round in 1992 when Edmonton defeated L.A. in six games. 

Prediction: Oilers in six


Colorado Avalanche vs. Nashville Predators

The Avalanche were the best team in the Western Conference during the regular season, though they haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since the 2001-02 season despite high expectations over the past several years. 

Colorado faces a tough opponent in the first round of this year’s playoffs, too, in the Nashville Predators. In fact, the Avs lost the regular-season series against the Predators 3-1, including a pair of overtime losses. 

The Avalanche have one of the best offenses in the NHL and receive consistent production from all four lines. However, Mikko Rantanen, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog are Colorado’s heavy-hitters in the scoring department, each having scored at least 30 goals this season. 

Defensemen Cale Makar and Devon Toews have also been productive on offense, while Samuel Girard, Erik Johnson and Jack Johnson have played tight defense down the stretch. 

A big difference for the Avalanche this season was the addition of Darcy Kuemper in goal. He was tasked with playing as well as Philipp Grubauer did during the 2020-21  season, and he rose to the challenge. 

Moving on to Nashville, the Predators barely clinched a playoff berth. The team is led offensively by Matt Duchene and Filip Forsberg but lacks offensive depth behind the duo. The only other players to have at least 20 goals this year were Ryan Johansen, Tanner Jeannot and Roman Josi. 

That said, the Predators could have difficulty scoring on Kuemper. In addition, they could struggle to keep the puck out of their own net as Juuse Saros and David Rittich haven’t been the best combination in goal this year, combining for a 3.03 GAA and .912 save percentage. 

Prediction: Avalanche in six


Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals

Most of the Panthers’ success can be attributed to veterans Jonathan Huberdeau, Aleksander Barkov and Sam Reinhart. The trio was a driving force for Florida on offense, though the team also received significant production from their depth forwards.

Anthony Duclair, Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Bennett, Mason Marchment and Anton Lundell each finished with at least 40 points.

Florida’s defense had also been surprisingly impressive despite losing Aaron Ekblad to injury. MacKenzie Weegar, Gustav Forsling and Brandon Montour were the team’s best defenders during the regular season, though Ben Chiarot could also be in that category after coming over in a trade from the Montreal Canadiens. 

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky also had a bounce-back season, which played a significant role in Florida’s success. 

Meanwhile, the Capitals are led by Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie offensively and John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov and Matt Irwin on the blue line. 

Washington’s defense hasn’t been much of an issue this year, but the depth scoring hasn’t been as solid as it has been in years past. That said, it’ll be difficult for the team to beat Bobrovsky and the Panthers if they can’t get the offense rolling.

However, the Capitals are never an easy out in the playoffs, and they could give the Presidents’ Trophy winners a run for their money. 

Prediction: Panthers in seven


Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Lightning are coming off back-to-back Stanley Cups and are aiming for their third straight title. The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, are hoping to make it out of the first round for the first time since the 2003-04 season. 

Luckily for Toronto, it’s not facing the Boston Bruins. Still, despite finishing third in the Atlantic Division, the Lightning are no joke. 

The Bolts are carried by veterans Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Victor Hedman, but also get significant depth production from Alex Killorn, Brayden Point and Ondrej Palat. Stamkos finished the regular season with more than 100 points, the best mark of his career, and has been one of the best forwards in the league. 

Tampa Bay also has arguably the best goaltender in the NHL in Andrei Vasilevskiy, and it will be difficult for the Maple Leafs to get pucks past him despite having the league’s leading goalscorer in Auston Matthews, in addition to Mitch Marner and William Nylander. 

Considering the Maple Leafs’ goaltending situation has been shaky all season, the Lightning may have the upper hand.

Prediction: Lightning in seven

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