Three Canadian teams in the Eastern Conference will be featured in Round 1 of the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs on Hockey Night in Canada.
The Toronto Maple Leafs begin their first playoff series in nine years on the road Wednesday night at 7 p.m. ET against the Boston Bruins in a best-of-seven series that brings together two of the league’s famed Original Six clubs for the first time in 39 years. The Leafs finished with the fifth seed in the Easteren Conference, while Boston fell to fourth following a 4-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators in the regular-season finale Sunday night.
Boston had dominated Toronto over the past two seasons, winning eight straight games until the Leafs came up with a 3-2 victory on March 23 at the Air Canada Centre.
Prior to that, the last Toronto win over the Bruins had been March 31, 2011 in a shootout.
Game 2 is set for Saturday night at 7 p.m. ET, with Games 3 and 4 on Monday and the following Wednesday in Toronto.
"Toronto has one of the biggest fan bases of any professional sports team,” said Trevor Pilling, head of programming for CBC Sports and Hockey Night in Canada. “So of course it’s a big deal and a great opportunity for the fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs to experience for the first time in nine years what it’s going to be like to see the Leafs again in the playoffs."
The Toronto-Boston series will also be available in Punjabi.
All evening playoff contests will be preceded by the Scotiabank Hockey Tonight pre-game show 30 minutes prior to game time.
Habs, Sens set for battle
One of the hottest regional rivalries in the league simmers to the surface again as the second-seeded Montreal Canadiens host No. 7 Ottawa on Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET in the opener of their seven-game set.
Those two clubs played four times in this shortened season, each coming out with two wins, a regulation time loss and a shootout loss.
They'll be right back at it on Friday to complete the back-to-back at the Bell Centre, before moving up the Ottawa River to the nation's capital for Sunday and Tuesday, all at 7 p.m. ET.
"Anything can happen," said Pilling. "When you look at what happened last year with the L.A. Kings finishing eighth in the Western Conference and then going on to win the Stanley Cup. It’s the beauty of hockey and that provides great excitement for the audience."
For Western Conference fans, Hockey Night in Canada gets underway Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET, with the St. Louis Blues and the Los Angeles Kings (Alberta-West), plus the top-seeded Chicago Blackhawks and the Minnesota Wild, also at 8 p.m. ET (Saskatchewan-East). Hockey Night will carry those series to their conclusion.
To set up the post-season, Hockey Night in Canada is presenting Stanley Cup Countdown on Monday night at 8 p.m. local time (8:30 p.m. in NL).
Ron MacLean hosts a panel of Elliotte Friedman, Glenn Healy, P.J. Stock, Kevin Weekes and Andi Petrillo in front of a live audience at Studio 42 in Toronto. They’ll break down each of the first-round matchups.
Included will be a live studio performance by Down With Webster.
On Tuesday night, Scotiabank Hockey Tonight pre-game show will have a look-in at a special live performance by City and Colour (Dallas Green, formerly of Alexisonfire) presented by SiriusXM. The whole performance will be available on CBCSports.ca.
“As the only network in Canada where fans can see the Stanley Cup hoisted by the winning team, we strive to bring viewers new and innovative ways to connect to the game and to CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada, and this playoff season is no exception with our tremendous multi-platform offerings,” said Julie Bristow, executive director, studio and unscripted programming for the CBC.
Stanley Cup playoffs on CBC
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