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The 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 30, 2013 following the conclusion of the 2012-13 NHL regular season.

The regular season was shortened to 48 games, and the playoffs pushed to a later date, due to a lockout. The playoffs ended on June 24, 2013 with the Chicago Blackhawks defeating the Boston Bruins in six games to win the Stanley Cup.

The Toronto Maple Leafs made the playoffs for the first time since 2004, breaking one of the NHL's longest playoff droughts. Since the 1967 expansion, only the Colorado Rockies/New Jersey Devils (1979–1987) and the Florida Panthers (2001–2011) have had longer playoff droughts.

The 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs mark the first time since 1996 that every Original Six team has advanced to the playoffs in the same year.

Also, this year marks the first time since 2004 that two Canadian teams have played each other in the playoffs.

In all, four Canadian teams qualified for the playoffs (Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Vancouver), the most since 2006. For the 2nd time in 3 years, all three teams from California made the playoffs.

For the first time since 2007, and for only the third time in history, all four former WHA teams; Carolina (formerly the Hartford Whalers), Colorado (formerly the Quebec Nordiques), Edmonton, and Phoenix (formerly the Winnipeg Jets) missed the playoffs in the same year.

For the first time since 1945, the final four teams remaining in the playoffs were the previous four Stanley Cup champions: Pittsburgh (2009), Chicago (2010), Boston (2011), and Los Angeles (2012) and indeed with the Detroit Red Wings (2008) being the last of the teams eliminated from the Conference Semi-Finals, the final five teams were the previous five Cup champions.

The 2013 Stanley Cup Finals was contested between the Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins, the first meeting in the Finals between the two teams and the first time that two Original Six teams competed in the Finals since Montreal defeated the New York Rangers in the 1979 Stanley Cup Finals.

Playoff SeedsEdit

After the regular season, the standard 16 teams qualified for the playoffs. The Chicago Blackhawks were the Western Conference regular season champions and the Presidents' Trophy winners with the best record in the NHL at 77 points.

The Pittsburgh Penguins earned the top seed in the Eastern Conference with 72 points.

Eastern ConferenceEdit

Western ConferenceEdit

Conference QuarterfinalsEdit

Eastern Conference

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (8) New York IslandersEdit

The Pittsburgh Penguins entered the playoffs as the Eastern Conference regular season champions, earning 72 points.

The New York Islanders earned 55 points during the regular season to finish eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.

This was the fourth playoff meeting for these two teams, with the Islanders having won all three of the previous playoff series.

Their most recent meeting was in the 1993 Patrick Division Finals, where New York upset the first place Pittsburgh in seven games. The Penguins won four of the five games in this year's regular season series.

The Penguins defeated the Islanders in six games. Pittsburgh goalie Marc-André Fleury stopped all 26 New York shots in a 5–0 shutout in Game 1.

Then the Islanders took Game 2 4–3 as New York's Colin McDonald, Matt Martin and Kyle Okposo scored three unanswered goals in the second and third periods.

In Game 3, Chris Kunitz scored the winning goal on a power play at 08:44 of overtime to give Pittsburgh a 5–4 victory.

New York evened the series with a 6–4 win in Game 4 with Mark Streit, John Tavares and Casey Cizikas scoring three unanswered goals in the third period.

The Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma then replaced Fleury with Tomas Vokoun as starting goalie for Game 5, who stopped all 31 shots to lead Pittsburgh to a 4–0 win.

In Game 6, the Islanders put up three leads only to have the Penguins tie it up three consecutive times. Brooks Orpik scored at 07:49 of overtime to give Pittsburgh a 4–3 victory and their fourth and final win of the series.

Pittsburgh won the series 4–2.

(2) Montreal Canadiens vs. (7) Ottawa SenatorsEdit

The Montreal Canadiens entered the playoffs as the second seed in the Eastern Conference by winning the Northeast Division with 63 points.

The Ottawa Senators earned 56 points during the regular season to finish seventh overall in the Eastern Conference.

This was the first playoff series between these two teams, and the first playoff series between teams from Montreal and Ottawa since 1928, when the Montreal Maroons defeated the original Ottawa Senators in the Canadian Division Quarterfinals. The two teams split this year's four-game regular season series.

The Senators defeated the Canadiens in five games. Midway through the second period of Game 1, Senators defenceman Eric Gryba was given a 5-minute major penalty, a game misconduct and later a two game suspension after delivering a hit on Montreal's Lars Eller that sent the Canadiens centre to the hospital.

Despite Gryba's ejection, the Senators won the game, 4–2 with goalie Craig Anderson stopping 48 out of 50 Montreal shots on goal.

The Canadiens took Game 2 3–1 led by goalie Carey Price's 29 saves out of 30 shots.

Emotions between the two division rivals boiled over in Game 3 as both teams combined for 236 penalty minutes, but Ottawa centre Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a hat trick, leading the Senators to a 6–1 victory.

The Canadiens then jumped to a 2–0 lead in the second period of Game 4, but Ottawa scored twice in the final ten minutes.

Mika Zibanejad's goal at 11:55 of the third period, cutting the lead to 2–1, was controversial because it appeared that he had illegally kicked it into the net, but the goal stood after a video review.

Cory Conacher got the tying goal with 22.6 left in regulation tied the game, and at intermission Montreal replaced an injured Price with Peter Budaj in goal. Kyle Turris scored the winner at 02:32 of overtime to give Ottawa the 3–2 win.

The Senators then eliminated the Canadiens with a 6–1 victory in Game 5; Montreal was without several players due to injury including Price and captain Brian Gionta.

One of the quirkier storylines of the series was the large number of teeth lost by players, highlighted by Anderson losing one in Game 1, Price losing one in Game 2, and Pageau after taking a stick to the mouth from Montreal defenceman P.K. Subban while scoring his first ever NHL playoff goal and first of three in Game 3.

Ottawa won the series 4–1.

(3) Washington Capitals vs. (6) New York RangersEdit

The Washington Capitals entered the playoffs as the third seed in the Eastern Conference by winning the Southeast Division with 57 points.

The New York Rangers earned 56 points during the regular season to finish sixth overall in the Eastern Conference.

This was the eighth playoff meeting for these two teams, and the fourth in the last five years, with the Capitals having won four of the seven previous series.

This was a rematch of the previous year's Eastern Conference Semifinal, which the Rangers won in seven games. New York won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Rangers advanced to the second round after soundly defeating the Capitals in Game 7, 5–0. Game 7 was the only one in the series in which the visiting team was the winner and it was the first road win in a seventh game in franchise history for the Rangers.

Washington scored three unanswered goals in the second period of Game 1 to win, 3–1.

In Game 2, Capitals defense Mike Green scored the only goal in the game at 08:00 of overtime.

The Rangers then evened the series after recording back-to-back 4–3 victories in Games 3 and 4, aided by Derick Brassard's one goal and two assists in the former, and Carl Hagelin's one goal and two assists in the latter.

Washington won Game 5, 2–1, with Mike Ribeiro's goal at 09:24 of overtime, but Brassard's second period goal proved to be the difference in New York's 1–0 win in Game 6.

The Rangers then controlled Game 7, winning 5–0, with five different players scoring for New York and goalie Henrik Lundqvist stopping all 35 Washington shots in his second consecutive shutout.

New York won the series 4–3.

(4) Boston Bruins vs. (5) Toronto Maple LeafsEdit

The Boston Bruins entered the playoffs as the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference with 62 points.

The Toronto Maple Leafs earned 57 points during the regular season to finish fifth overall in the Eastern Conference.

This was the fourteenth playoff series between these two teams with the Maple Leafs having won eight of the previous thirteen series.

Their most recent meeting was the 1974 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals where the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in four games. Boston won three of the four games in this year's regular season series.

The Bruins rallied from a 1–4 third period deficit in Game 7 to defeat the Maple Leafs in overtime, 5–4, and advance to the second round.

Boston jumped to a 3–1 lead in the series before Toronto won two straight games to force Game 7. David Krejci led Boston to a 4–1 victory in Game 1 with a goal and two assists.

Joffrey Lupul then scored two goals to lead the Maple Leafs to a 4–2 victory in Game 2. The Bruins then took Game 3, 5–2, aided by goalie Tuukka Rask's 45 saves out of 47 shots.

Krejci's goal at 13:06 of overtime then gave Boston the win in Game 4, 4–3, but the Leafs bounced back in Game 5 with a 2–1 victory with James Reimer's 43 saves out of 44 shots. Reimer then stopped 29 of 30 shots in Toronto's 2–1 win in Game 6.

In Game 7, the Maple Leafs jumped to a 4–1 lead in the third period, aided by two goals by Cody Franson, but the Bruins began their comeback with Nathan Horton's goal at 09:18.

After pulling goalie Rask to add an extra attacker, Boston scored twice within the last two minutes of regulation to tie the game, first with Milan Lucic's score at 18:38 and then Patrice Bergeron's goal at 19:09.

Bergeron then scored at 06:05 in overtime to give the Bruins the 5–4 win and the series.

It was the first Game 7 in NHL playoff history in which a team trailing by three goals in the third period went on to win the game (and by extension) the series.

Boston won the series 4–3.

Western Conference

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (8) Minnesota WildEdit

The Chicago Blackhawks entered the playoffs as the Western Conference regular season champions and Presidents' Trophy winners, earning 77 points.

The Minnesota Wild earned 55 points during the regular season to finish eighth overall in the Western Conference.

This was the first playoff meeting for these two teams. Chicago won two of the three games in this year's regular season series. The Blackhawks defeated the Wild in five games.

Bryan Bickell's goal at 16:35 of overtime gave Chicago a 2–1 victory in Game 1.

Then Michael Frolík and Patrick Sharp each scored two goals in the Blackhawks' 5–2 win in Game 2.

In Game 3, Jason Zucker scored at 02:15 of overtime to give the Wild a 3–2 victory.

The Blackhawks controlled Games 4 and 5, with Chicago goalie Corey Crawford making 25 saves in a 3–0 shutout in the former and winger Marian Hossa leading the Blackhawks with two goals and one assist in a 5–1 win in the latter.

Chicago won the series 4–1.

(2) Anaheim Ducks vs. (7) Detroit Red WingsEdit

The Anaheim Ducks entered the playoffs as the second seed in the Western Conference by winning the Pacific Division with 66 points.

The Detroit Red Wings earned 56 points during the regular season to finish seventh overall in the Western Conference, allowing their streak of 22 consecutive playoff appearances to stand.

This was the sixth playoff meeting for these two teams, with the Red Wings having won three of the five previous series.

The most recent meeting of these teams was in the 2009 Western Conference Semifinals which Detroit won in seven games. Detroit won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Red Wings defeated the Ducks in Game 7 of the series, 3–2 to advance to the next round. Four games in the series were decided in overtime.

In Game 1, Teemu Selanne scored a power play goal in the third period, and Francois Beauchemin added an empty netter in the final minute to give Anaheim a 3–1 win.

In Game 2, the Ducks scored three unanswered goals in the third period to tie the game, 4–4, but Red Wings winger Gustav Nyquist scored at 01:21 of overtime to give Detroit the victory.

Game 3 was scoreless in the second period until Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader was given a 5-minute major penalty, a game misconduct, and later a two game suspension after illegally charging Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman.

Although they scored only once in the ensuing 5 minute power play, goalie Jonas Hiller stopped all 23 Detroit shots to lead the Ducks to a win, 4–0.

The next three games went into overtime, as Damien Brunner scored at 15:10 of the extra session to give the Red Wings a 3–2 victory in Game 4, Nick Bonino at 01:54 to give the Ducks a 3–2 victory in Game 5 and Henrik Zetterberg at 01:04 in Detroit's 4–3 win in Game 6.

Zetterberg then led the Red Wings with a goal and an assist, and goalie Jimmy Howard made 31 saves, in their 3–2 victory in Game 7.

Detroit won the series 4–3.

(3) Vancouver Canucks vs. (6) San Jose SharksEdit

The Vancouver Canucks entered the playoffs as the third seed in the Western Conference by winning the Northwest Division with 59 points.

The San Jose Sharks earned 57 points during the regular season to finish sixth overall in the Western Conference and third in the Pacific Division.

This was the second playoff series between these two teams, with the only previous meeting being the 2011 Western Conference Finals where Vancouver defeated San Jose in five games. San Jose won all three games in this year's regular season series.

The Sharks recorded their first playoff sweep in team history. Led by Logan Couture's second period goal and a third period assist, San Jose scored three unanswered goals in Game 1 to win, 3–1.

The Canucks held a 2–1 lead late in the third period of Game 2 off of Ryan Kesler's two goals, but then Patrick Marleau tied the game with 55 seconds left in regulation and Raffi Torres scored at 05:31 into overtime to give the Sharks a 3–2 victory.

In Game 3 of the series leading 2–1 to start the third period, San Jose's Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau then each scored in a span of nine seconds giving the Sharks a 4–1 lead. The Sharks would earn a 5–2 victory.

In Game 4 of the series, Brent Burns scored to give the Sharks the lead, later Mason Raymond would score on the power play.

San Jose would take the lead again in the dying minutes of the first with a power play tally from Joe Pavelski to make it 2–1.

In the third period the Vancouver Canucks rallied back in the third to tie the game and gain the lead from the strengths of Alex Burrows and Alexander Edler goals to make it 3–2.

In the last minutes of the third Joe Pavelski tallied the game tying goal as regulation ended 3–3.

Patrick Marleau then scored the series winning goal at 13:18 of overtime in San Jose's 4–3 victory in Game 4.

San Jose won the series 4–0.

(4) St. Louis Blues vs. (5) Los Angeles KingsEdit

Conference SemifinalsEdit

Eastern Conference Semifinals

4.1.1 (1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (7) Ottawa SenatorsEdit

This was the fourth playoff meeting for these two teams, all occurring over the last seven seasons, with Pittsburgh winning the previous two.

Their most recent meeting was in the 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, which Pittsburgh won in six games.

The Penguins won all three games in this year's regular season series. The Penguins eliminated the Senators in five games. Evgeni Malkin recorded a goal and an assist in Pittsburgh's 4–1 victory in Game 1.

In Game 2, Sidney Crosby recorded his second career playoff hat trick as the Penguins went on to win, 4–3.

The Senators then took Game 3, 2–1, after Daniel Alfredsson tied the game with a short handed goal with only 22.6 seconds left in regulation and Colin Greening scored the game winner at 07:39 of the second overtime period, but Pittsburgh came back with a 7–3 victory in Game 4 with Kris Letang recording four assists.

James Neal recorded his first career playoff hat trick in Pittsburgh's 6–2 win in Game 5 to close out the series and help the Penguins advance to the Conference Finals.

Pittsburgh won the series 4–1.

4.1.2 (4) Boston Bruins vs. (6) New York RangersEdit

This was the tenth playoff meeting for these two teams with Boston having won six of the nine previous series.

They met in the 1972 Stanley Cup Finals where the Bruins won in six games.

Next year they faced off in the 1973 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals in which the Rangers won in five games, and this was their most recent postseason meeting. The Rangers won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Bruins eliminated the Rangers in five games. Brad Marchand's goal at 15:40 of overtime gave Boston a 3–2 victory in Game 1.

In Game 2, five different Boston players scored goals, giving them a 5–2 win.

The Bruins then won Game 3, 2–1 as Daniel Paille scored the game winner with 03:31 left in regulation after the puck deflected off of Henrik Lundqvist's head, popped into the air and then bounced in an area around the goal crease where the Rangers goalie lost sight of it.

The Rangers avoided elimination in Game 4 as Chris Kreider scored at 07:03 of overtime, redirecting Rick Nash's shot into the Bruins net, giving New York a 4–3 victory.

In Game 5, Boston was victorious in Game 5, 3–1, scoring three unanswered goals, including two from Gregory Campbell.

Boston won the series 4–1.

Western Conference SemifinalsEdit

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (7) Detroit Red WingsEdit

This was the sixteenth playoff meeting for these two teams, with Chicago having won eight of the previous fifteen series.

Their most recent meeting was in the 2009 Western Conference Finals in which Detroit won in five games. The Blackhawks won all four games in this year's regular season series.

The Blackhawks came back from a 3–1 series deficit to defeat the Red Wings in seven games.

In Game 1, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger scored in about three minutes apart in the third period as Chicago broke a 1–1 tie to win, 4–1. Henrik Zetterberg then recorded two assists, leading the Red Wings to a 4–1 victory in Game 2.

Detroit also won Game 3, 3–1, as goalie Jimmy Howard made 39 saves out of 40 shots and Gustav Nyquist & Drew Miller scored in 31 seconds apart in the second period.

The Red Wings then gave the Blackhawks their first three-game losing streak all season as Howard made 28 saves in Detroit's 2–0 victory in Game 4, but Chicago began their comeback in the series in Game 5 as Andrew Shaw scored two goals in a 4–1 win.

In the third period of Game 6, the Blackhawks scored three straight goals from three different players, including one on a penalty shot by Michael Frolík to overcome a one goal deficit and eventually win 4–3.

In Game 7, Brent Seabrook scored at 03:35 of overtime to give Chicago a 2–1 victory to advance to the Conference Finals.

Chicago won the series 4–3.

(5) Los Angeles Kings vs. (6) San Jose SharksEdit

This was the second playoff series for these two teams. Their first meeting was in the 2011 Western Conference Quarterfinals in which San Jose won in six games. The two teams split this year's four-game regular season series.

In a series where the home team won every game, the Kings outlasted the Sharks in Game 7 at the Staples Center to advance to the Conference Finals.

Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick stopped all 35 San Jose shots in a 2–0 home victory in Game 1.

In Game 2, the Kings' Dustin Brown and Trevor Lewis scored power play goals in 22 seconds apart with less than 2 minutes left in regulation, overcoming a one goal deficit to win, 4–3.

With the series moving to HP Pavilion, Logan Couture's goal at 01:29 of overtime gave the Sharks a 2–1 victory in Game 3.

San Jose then evened the series in Game 4 with another 2–1 victory after building a 2–0 second period lead.

In Game 5 back at the Staples Center, the Kings limited the Sharks to 24 shots on goal and Quick recorded his second shutout in the series in a 3–0 win for Los Angeles.

The series then ended with two consecutive 2–1 games: Joe Thornton and T.J. Galiardi scored for San Jose in Game 6 at HP Pavilion and Justin Williams scored both Los Angeles goals in Game 7 at the Staples Center.

Los Angeles won the series 4–3.

Conference FinalsEdit

Eastern Conference Finals

(1) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (4) Boston BruinsEdit

This was the fifth playoff series for these two teams, with each team having won two of the four previous meetings.

This was also the third time that they meet in the Wales/Eastern Conference Finals, having met at this stage in their two previous playoff meetings.

In 1991, the Penguins lost the first two games to the Bruins but went on to win the next four and the next year (1992) they swept the Bruins out of the playoffs. The Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup in both years.

The Pittsburgh Penguins had made it to their third Conference Finals since 2008, while the Boston Bruins were making their second appearance in three years.

The Penguins won all three games in this year's regular season series, all three games by one goal.

The Bruins swept the top seeded Penguins, as Boston goalie Tuukka Rask recorded his first two career playoff shutouts, and only allowed two Pittsburgh goals throughout the sweep.

Penguins forwards Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby, Jarome Iginla, Pascal Dupuis and James Neal had scored between them 28 goals and 64 points during the first two rounds, but against the Bruins they were silenced with Dupuis recording a single assist.

The Penguins had scored 13 power-play goals in the first 11 games, but went 0-for 15 on the powerplay in the Conference Finals. David Krejci had two goals in the Bruins' 3–0 Game 1 victory.

In Game 2, the Bruins recorded six goals and Rask limited the Penguins to only one score. Patrice Bergeron then scored at 15:19 of the second overtime period of Game 3 to give Boston a 2–1 win.

Finally in Game 4, Adam McQuaid scored at 05:01 of the third period, the only goal in the game, to give the Bruins a 1–0 win and a trip to the Cup Finals.

This marked the first time since 1979 that the Penguins were swept in a playoff series; the Bruins also swept the Penguins out of that year's playoffs.

During the 2012-13 season trade deadline, the Bruins were closed to acquiring Iginla from the Calgary Flames, but he chose the Penguins instead.

Boston won the series 4–0.

Western Conference Finals

(1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (5) Los Angeles KingsEdit

This was the second playoff series for these two teams. Their only previous meeting was in the 1974 Stanley Cup Quarterfinals which Chicago won in five games.

The Blackhawks won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.

The Chicago Blackhawks have made it to their third Conference Finals since 2009, while the Los Angeles Kings were making their second straight appearance.

The Blackhawks defeated the Kings in five games by extending Los Angeles' road playoff losing streak to six and giving the Kings their first home playoff loss in Game 4. Patrick Sharp and Marian Hossa scored back-to-back goals in their 2–1 victory in Game 1.

Four different Chicago players scored unanswered goals in their 4–2 win in Game 2, forcing Los Angeles goalie Jonathan Quick to be replaced by backup Jonathan Bernier midway through the second period.

Quick then made 19 out of 20 saves and Justin Williams & Slava Voynov scored Los Angeles' two unanswered goals in the Kings' 3–1 win in Game 3, but in Game 4, Chicago's Marian Hossa scored the game-winning goal 70 seconds into the third period to give the Blackhawks a 3–2 win.

Then Patrick Kane recorded a hat trick, including the game-winning goal at 11:40 of double overtime to give Chicago a 4–3 victory in Game 5 and advance to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Chicago won the series 4–1.

Player StatisticsEdit

SkatersEdit

Player Team Games Played Goals Assists Points Plus/Minus Penalties In Minutes
Krejci, DavidDavid Krejci Boston Bruins 22 9 17 26 +13 14
Kane, PatrickPatrick Kane Chicago Blackhawks 23 9 10 19 +7 8
Horton, NathanNathan Horton Boston Bruins 22 7 12 19 +20 14
Lucic, MilanMilan Lucic Boston Bruins 22 7 12 19 +12 14
Bickell, BryanBryan Bickell Chicago Blackhawks 23 9 8 17 +11 14
Sharp, PatrickPatrick Sharp Chicago Blackhawks 23 10 6 16 +1 8
Hossa, MarianMarian Hossa Chicago Blackhawks 22 7 9 16 +8 2
Malkin, EvgeniEvgeni Malkin Pittsburgh Penguins 15 4 12 16 -2 26
Letang, KrisKris Letang Pittsburgh Penguins 15 3 13 16 +2 8
Bergeron, PatricePatrice Bergeron Boston Bruins 22 9 6 15 +2 13

GoaltendingEdit

Player Team Games Played Wins Losses Shots Against Goals Against Goals Against Average Save Percentage Shutouts Time On Ice (Minutes:Seconds)
Crawford, CoreyCorey Crawford Chicago Blackhawks 23 16 7 674 46 1.84 .932 1 1,503:54
Quick, JonathanJonathan Quick Los Angeles Kings 18 9 9 518 34 1.86 .934 3 1,099:00
Niemi, AnttiAntti Niemi San Jose Sharks 11 7 4 298 21 1.87 .930 0 673:07
Rask, TuukkaTuukka Rask Boston Bruins 22 14 8 761 46 1.88 .940 3 1,465:55
Vokoun, TomasTomas Vokoun Pittsburgh Penguins 11 6 5 345 23 2.01 .933 1 685:13
Lundqvist, HenrikHenrik Lundqvist New York Rangers 12 5 7 411 27 2.14 .934 2 756:15

TelevisionEdit

2013 marked the second year of a contract between the NHL and Comcast's NBCUniversal to air the Stanley Cup playoffs in the United States.

As part of the deal, local coverage from regional sports networks could co-exist with national broadcasts by NBC and associated channels NBC Sports Network, CNBC and NHL Network during the first round.

The NBC Sports Group's family of channels would then gain exclusive rights to the conference semifinals and beyond.

National Canadian English-language coverage is split between CBC Television and the TSN family of networks, including TSN2. French-language telecasts are broadcast on RDS and RDS2.

For the first time since they started broadcasting Stanley Cup playoff games in 2006, NBC televised Saturday primetime contests in the second and third rounds instead of in the afternoon.

The delayed start of the playoffs caused afternoon conflicts with NBC's coverage of the French Open, among other events in late May.

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