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First round of Stanley Cup playoffs set

First round of Stanley Cup playoffs set

STANLEY CUP: Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith skates after the Stanley Cup was carried out during a banner raising ceremony before an NHL hockey game between the Blackhawks and the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, Oct. 1, in Chicago. Photo: Associated Press/Nam Y. Huh

(Reuters) – The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs were set on Sunday after Colorado clinched the West’s Central Division and Tampa Bay tied up second spot in the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic with a win over Washington.

The postseason gets underway on Wednesday with the Lightning hosting Montreal, Columbus traveling to face Pittsburgh and Anaheim hosting Dallas.

The Avalanche entered the day tied with St. Louis on 111 points but clinched the division when the slumping Blues suffered a sixth straight defeat, falling 3-0 to the Detroit Red Wings. The Avs face wildcards Minnesota in the first round.

In the East, the Lightning secured second place in the Atlantic Division and home ice advantage in their first round series against the Canadiens with a 1-0 shootout win over the Capitals on Sunday, the last day of the regular season.

Other first round matchups will see the top seeded Boston Bruins, winners of the Presidents’ Trophy for finishing with the best regular season record (54-19-9), take on the wildcard Red Wings, who reached the postseason for the 23rd consecutive year.

The Bruins and Red Wings, two of the NHL’s Original Six franchises, clash in the playoffs for the first time since 1957.

Metropolitan Division champions Pittsburgh face the East’s other wildcards Columbus, who head to the postseason for just the second time.

The other East matchup will see bitter rivals New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers renew hostilities.

The Anaheim Ducks assured themselves of the top seed in the Western Conference on Saturday with a 4-3 shootout win over the Los Angeles Kings and open the postseason against the Stars, winners of the second wildcard.

Also in the West, Stanley Cup champions Chicago open the defense of their crown against the Blues and San Jose Sharks go up against California rivals LA Kings.

EASTERN CONFERENCE

Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings

April 18 – Detroit at Boston (Game 1)

April 20 – Detroit at Boston (Game 2)

April 22 – Boston at Detroit (Game 3)

April 24 – Boston at Detroit (Game 4)

April 26 – Detroit at Boston (Game 5 if necessary)

April 28 – Boston at Detroit (Game 6 if necessary)

April 30 – Detroit at Boston (Game 7 if necessary)

Tampa Bay Lightning v Montreal Canadiens

April 16 – Montreal at Tampa Bay (Game 1)

April 18 – Montreal at Tampa Bay (Game 2)

April 20 – Tampa Bay at Montreal (Game 3)

April 22 – Tampa Bay at Montreal (Game 4)

April 24 – Montreal at Tampa Bay (Game 5 if necessary)

April 27 – Tampa Bay at Montreal (Game 6 if necessary)

April 29 – Montreal at Tampa Bay (Game 7 if necessary)

Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets

April 16 – Columbus at Pittsburgh (Game 1)

April 19 – Columbus at Pittsburgh (Game 2)

April 21 – Pittsburgh at Columbus (Game 3)

April 23 – Pittsburgh at Columbus (Game 4)

April 26 – Columbus at Pittsburgh (Game 5 if necessary)

April 28 – Pittsburgh at Columbus (Game 6 if necessary)

April 30 – Columbus at Pittsburgh (Game 7 if necessary)

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers

April 17 – Philadelphia at New York (Game 1)

April 20 – Philadelphia at New York (Game 2)

April 22 – New York at Philadelphia (Game 3)

April 25 – New York at Philadelphia (Game 4)

April 27 – Philadelphia at New York (Game 5 if necessary)

April 29 – New York at Philadelphia (Game 6 if necessary)

April 30 – Philadelphia at New York (Game 7 if necessary)

WESTERN CONFERENCE

Colorado Avalanche v Minnesota Wild

April 17 – Minnesota at Colorado (Game 1)

April 19 – Minnesota at Colorado (Game 2)

April 21 – Colorado at Minnesota (Game 3)

April 24 – Colorado at Minnesota (Game 4)

April 26 – Minnesota at Colorado (Game 5 if necessary)

April 28 – Colorado at Minnesota (Game 6 if necessary)

April 30 – Minnesota at Colorado (Game 7 if necessary)

St. Louis Blues v Chicago Blackhawks

April 17 – Chicago at St. Louis (Game 1)

April 19 – Chicago at St. Louis (Game 2)

April 21 – St. Louis at Chicago (Game 3)

April 23 – St. Louis at Chicago (Game 4)

April 25 – Chicago at St. Louis (Game 5 if necessary)

April 27 – St. Louis at Chicago (Game 6 if necessary)

April 29 – Chicago at St. Louis (Game 7 if necessary)

Anaheim Ducks v Dallas Stars

April 16 – Dallas at Anaheim (Game 1)

April 18 – Dallas at Anaheim (Game 2)

April 21 – Anaheim at Dallas (Game 3)

April 23 – Anaheim at Dallas (Game 4)

April 25 – Dallas at Anaheim (Game 5 if necessary)

April 27 – Anaheim at Dallas (Game 6 if necessary)

April 29 – Dallas at Anaheim (Game 7 if necessary)

San Jose Sharks v Los Angeles Kings

April 17 – Los Angeles at San Jose (Game 1)

April 20 – Los Angeles at San Jose (Game 2)

April 22 – San Jose at Los Angeles (Game 3)

April 24 – San Jose at Los Angeles (Game 4)

April 26 – Los Angeles at San Jose (Game 5 if necessary)

April 28 – San Jose at Los Angeles (Game 6 if necessary)

April 30 – Los Angeles at San Jose (Game 7 if necessary)

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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