The Wraparound: Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round begins

The Wraparound is your daily look at the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. We’ll break down today’s NHL playoff games with the all-important television and live streaming information included.

• Alexis Lafreniere appears headed to New York after the Rangers won Phase 2 of the draft lottery and the No. 1 overall pick.

• The Hockey Hall of Fame has postponed the 2020 induction ceremony.

• Another week, another report from the NHL announcing zero positive COVID-19 tests.

NHL GAMES TODAY

Game 1: Blue Jackets vs. Lightning, 2:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestream: For the second straight season the Blue Jackets and Lightning will face off in the First Round of the postseason after Columbus became the first team in NHL history to sweep a Presidents’ Trophy winner in the opening round a season ago when they defeated Tampa in four games. That victory was the Blue Jackets’ first ever playoff series win after 18 seasons in the league and now a year later these clubs meet again following Columbus’ winner-take-all victory over Toronto on Sunday night.

Game 1: Flames vs. Stars, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestream: These franchises are meeting in the playoffs for the second time – but first since the Stars moved to Dallas. The Minnesota North Stars defeated the Flames in six games in the 1981 Semifinals (the North Stars then lost in five games to the Islanders in the Cup Final). It was the first postseason appearance for the Calgary Flames, who had moved from Atlanta at the start of that season.

[Full NHL First Round schedule]

Game 1: Hurricanes vs. Bruins, 8 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestreamThe Bruins claimed the Presidents’ Trophy and were the only team to reach 100 points this season, but they struggled in the Round Robin and lost all three of their games to drop to the East No. 4 seed. Carolina defeated the 11th-seeded Rangers in the Qualifying Round and were the only team to sweep their opponent in the best-of-5 format. They will be the No. 5 seed in the First Round. Dougie Hamilton will be a game-time decision.

Game 1: Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights, 10:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN; livestreamVegas has made the playoffs in each of their first three seasons as a franchise. They reached the Stanley Cup Final in their first season and lost in the First Round in seven games against San Jose last year. The Blackhawks are back in the playoffs after missing out the past two years. Their qualifying round win over the Oilers was their first playoff series win since winning the 2015 Stanley Cup. Robin Lehner will start Tuesday night for Vegas.

[NBC 2020 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF HUB]

WEDNESDAY’S NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 1: Islanders vs. Capitals, 3 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 1: Coyotes vs. Avalanche, 5:30 p.m. ET – NBCSN
Game 1: Canadiens vs. Flyers, 8 p.m ET – NBCSN
Game 1: Canucks vs. Blues, 10:30 p.m ET – NBCSN

PHT’s 2020 Stanley Cup playoff previews
Flyers vs. Canadiens
Lightning vs. Blue Jackets
Bruins vs. Hurricanes
Stars vs. Flames
Blackhawks vs. Golden Knights

First Round predictions
Power Rankings: Best First Round matchups
Conn Smythe Watch: Korpisalo, Aho leading entering First Round
Roundtable: NHL playoff surprises; vulnerable top seeds

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