The 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs of the National Hockey League (NHL) began on April 12, 2017.
The Washington Capitals made the playoffs as the Presidents' Trophy winners for the second consecutive year with the most points (i.e. best record) during the regular season. The Detroit Red Wings failed to make the playoffs for the first time since the 1989–90 season, ending the NHL's longest active playoff streak at 25 consecutive seasons; the streak was also tied for the third-longest streak in NHL history. The longest active playoff streak moved to the Pittsburgh Penguins with eleven consecutive appearances. The Edmonton Oilers made the playoffs for the first time since 2006, ending a record-tying playoff drought for a team with ten years missed (the Florida Panthers also missed the playoffs between 2001 and 2011 inclusively). Also for the first time since 2006, both Alberta teams, the Oilers and the Calgary Flames, qualified for the postseason in the same year. For the first time since 2013 (and the third time since 2001), all three Eastern Canadian teams (Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators and Toronto Maple Leafs) qualified for the playoffs. In all, 5 Canadian-based teams made the playoffs, matching 2015, after a season in which none of the seven teams in Canada contended. Five Original Six teams made the playoffs, with only the previously mentioned Red Wings failing to make it.
The final game of the first round between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals, was the eighteenth overtime game, eclipsing the previous record of seventeen overtime games in the first round set in 2013. It was also the first time since 2001 that no first round series went the full seven games.
- Montreal Canadiens (Atlantic Division champions): 103 points
- Ottawa Senators: 98 points
- Boston Bruins: 95 points (42 ROWs)
- Washington Capitals (Metropolitan Division champions, Eastern Conference regular season champions & Presidents' Trophy winners): 118 points
- Pittsburgh Penguins: 111 points
- Columbus Blue Jackets: 108 points
- Chicago Blackhawks (Central Division champions, Western Conference regular season champions): 109 points
- Minnesota Wild: 106 points
- St. Louis Blues: 99 points
- Anaheim Ducks (Pacific Division champions): 105 points
- Edmonton Oilers: 103 points
- San Jose Sharks: 99 points
Eastern Conference First RoundEdit
(A1) Montreal Canadiens vs. (WC1) New York RangersEdit
The Montreal Canadiens finished first in the Atlantic Division earning 103 points. The New York Rangers finished as the Eastern Conference's first wild-card, earning 102 points. This is the sixteenth playoff meeting between these two teams with New York winning eight of the fifteen previous series. They last met in the 2014 Eastern Conference Finals, which New York won in six games. Montreal won all three games in this year's regular season series.
The Rangers eliminated the Canadiens in six games. In the first game of the series, Tanner Glass & Michael Grabner scored the only goals of the games as the Rangers won the game 2–0 on Henrik Lundqvist's 31-save shutout. In Game 2, the Canadiens tied the game with 18 seconds left, then in overtime, Alexander Radulov pushed it past the Rangers' goaltender to give Montreal a 4–3 victory. Radulov continued his scoring into Game 3, getting a goal and an assist to help the Canadiens achieve a 3–1 victory. The Rangers ended a six-game home-losing streak after Game 4 winning 2–1 over the Canadiens to tie the series 2–2. Mika Zibanejad got the overtime-winner for the Rangers in Game 5 after Chris Kreider deflected a pass off of Canadiens defenceman Alexei Emelin, landing towards the forward who put it past goaltender Carey Price in a 3–2 win. Mats Zuccarello scored twice in Game 6 as the Rangers eliminated the Canadiens in a 3–1 victory to advance to the second round.
(A2) Ottawa Senators vs. (A3) Boston BruinsEdit
The Ottawa Senators finished second in the Atlantic Division, earning 98 points. The Boston Bruins earned 95 points in the regular season to finish third in the Atlantic. This is the first playoff meeting between the contemporary Ottawa franchise and Boston, and the first Boston-Ottawa series since the 1927 Stanley Cup Finals. Ottawa won all four games in this year's regular season series.
The Senators eliminated the Bruins in six games. In Game 1, the Senators gained a 1–0 lead into the third on Bobby Ryan's goal in the second period, however, the Bruins scored twice in the final period with Brad Marchand having the final tally 2:33 before the game ended 2–1 for Boston. In Game 2, Ottawa came back from a two-goal deficit in the third period and won via Dion Phaneuf whose goal in overtime helped tie the series 1–1 after a 4–3 conquest. In Game 3, Ottawa had a three-goal lead with Mike Hoffman scoring twice, but the Bruins came back with three goals in the third period. In overtime, Bruins forward Riley Nash took a roughing penalty and on the ensuing power play, Bobby Ryan tipped in a pass from Kyle Turris ending the game 4–3 for the Senators. Bobby Ryan scored the only goal in Game 4 5:49 into the third period, allowing the Senators to achieve a 3–1 series lead. Boston came back from an early 2–0 deficit in Game 5 and the game would go to overtime. In double-overtime, Bruins rookie Sean Kuraly scored his second goal of the game, completing the comeback in a 3–2 feat. In Game 6, Clarke MacArthur scored the series-winning goal on the power play in overtime for Ottawa to advance to the second round.
(M1) Washington Capitals vs. (WC2) Toronto Maple LeafsEdit
The Washington Capitals won the Presidents' Trophy for the second consecutive year as the NHL's best regular season team this time with 118 points. The Toronto Maple Leafs finished as the Eastern Conference's second wild-card, earning 95 points. This is the first playoff meeting between these two teams. Washington won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.
The Capitals defeated the Maple Leafs in six games. Although Toronto had a two-goal lead in the first ten minutes of Game 1, Washington scored two goals, both from Justin Williams and won the game 3–2 in overtime from Tom Wilson's goal. In Game 2, rookie Kasperi Kapanen scored twice including the game-winner in double-overtime leading the Maple Leafs to a 4–3 victory. Washington took two two-goal leads in Game 3; the first pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Auston Matthews, helped soften the lead with his first playoff goal, but after the Capitals got a 3–1 lead, the Maple Leafs scored twice to tie the game. Then in overtime, Tyler Bozak sent his shot past the Capitals' goaltender to give the Leafs a 2–1 series lead. Game 4 was the only game of the series not to go into overtime; Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie both scored two goals and Oshie's second goal proved to be the game-winner in a 5–4 victory after an attempted comeback by Toronto was thwarted. Game 5 featured the fourth overtime game of this series with Justin Williams scoring for Capitals in a 2–1, taking a 3–2 series lead in the process. In Game 6, the game went to overtime for the fifth time this series and at 6:31 of the first overtime period, Marcus Johansson scored his second goal for the Capitals in a 2–1 victory and another trip to the second round.
(M2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (M3) Columbus Blue JacketsEdit
The Pittsburgh Penguins finished #2 in the Metropolitan Division and the entire NHL earning 111 points. The Columbus Blue Jackets earned 108 points to finish third in the Metropolitan. This is the second playoff meeting between these teams; they last met in the 2014 Eastern Conference First Round, which Pittsburgh won in six games. The teams split this year's four-game regular season series.
The Penguins defeated the Blue Jackets in five games. Before Game 1 began, Matt Murray (the starting goaltender for the Penguins) injured himself during warm-ups forcing Marc-Andre Fleury, who had been demoted to the backup for the season, to start the game; his team would win the game 3–1, making 31 saves in the process. Sidney Crosby got a goal and two assists in Game 2 as the Penguins defeated the Blue Jackets 4–1 and took a 2–0 series lead. In Game 3, Jake Guentzel scored a hat-trick, his third being the overtime-winner as the Penguins came back from a two-goal deficit and defeated the Blue Jackets 5–4 and take a 3–0 series lead. Columbus avoided a sweep in Game 4, scoring with five different players in a 5–4 victory; this was also the franchise's first playoff win in regulation. In Game 5, Bryan Rust scored twice (including the series-winner) and Fleury made 49 saves in a 5–2 win for the Penguins to advance to the second round.
Western Conference First RoundEdit
(C1) Chicago Blackhawks vs. (WC2) Nashville PredatorsEdit
The Chicago Blackhawks finished first in the Central Division and Western Conference earning 109 points. The Nashville Predators finished as the Western Conference's second wild-card, earning 94 points. This is the third playoff meeting between these teams with Chicago winning both previous series. They last met in the 2015 Western Conference First Round (which Chicago won in six games). Chicago won four of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Predators defeated the Blackhawks in a four-game sweep, making it the first time in NHL playoff history that an eighth-seeded team swept a playoff series against the top seed in their conference. Viktor Arvidsson scored the only goal in Game 1 as the Predators shut out the Blackhawks, stopping all 29 shots they faced. The Blackhawks remained scoreless after Game 2, instead being outscored 5–0 with Pekka Rinne not only stopping all 30 shots he faced, but also providing two assists. Chicago finally scored a goal in Game 3 and they maintained a two-goal lead throughout the second period, but in the third period, Filip Forsberg scored twice for Nashville to tie the game and send it to overtime. In overtime, Nashville forward Kevin Fiala skated around Chicago goalie Corey Crawford and put the puck past him to complete the comeback in a 3–2 victory giving them their first 3–0 series lead. In Game 4, Roman Josi scored twice in a 4–1 victory and Rinne made 30 saves for the Predators, who swept a playoff opponent for the first time in franchise history.
(C2) Minnesota Wild vs. (C3) St. Louis BluesEdit
The Minnesota Wild finished second in the Central Division earning 106 points. The St. Louis Blues earned 99 points to finish third in the Central.
This is the second playoff meeting between these teams; their only previous meeting was the 2015 Western Conference First Round, which Minnesota won in six games. St. Louis won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Blues defeated the Wild in five games.
St. Louis won the first game of the series 2–1 17:48 into overtime from Joel Edmundson's wrist shot after the Wild tied the game in the final minute of the game, Jake Allen made 51 saves in the process.
In Game 2, Jaden Schwartz scored the game-winner with 2:27 left in the third period, giving the Blues another 2–1 victory over the Wild.
The Wild continued to score only one goal in each game this series, losing the game nevertheless, this time 3–1 as Allen made 40 saves and the Blues taking a 3–0 series lead. Devan Dubnyk kept the Wild alive in the series, stopping all 28 shots he faced in a 2–0 victory in Game 4.
In Game 5, the Blues took a 3–1 lead in the third period only to see the Wild tie it up in the last ten minutes. However, in overtime, Magnus Paajarvi ended the game for St. Louis, defeating the Wild 4–3 to advance to the second round.
(P1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (WC1) Calgary FlamesEdit
The Anaheim Ducks finished first in the Pacific Division for the fifth consecutive year, this time earning 105 points. The Calgary Flames finished as the Western Conference's first wild-card, earning 94 points.
This is the third playoff meeting between these teams with Anaheim winning both previous series. They last met in the 2015 Western Conference Second Round which Anaheim won in five games. Anaheim won four of the five games in this year's regular season series. Anaheim has also won 25 straight regular season home games against Calgary.
The Ducks defeated the Flames in a four-game sweep.
In Game 1, both Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg had a goal and an assist, the latter of whom had the game-winning goal in a 3–2 victory for the Ducks. Anaheim continued their home-dominance over Calgary defeating the Flames 3–2 with a goal and an assist by Getzlaf again.
The Flames had a lead of 4–1 in Game 3, forcing Ducks goaltender John Gibson to be replaced by Jonathan Bernier. The Ducks came back in this game, scoring three times, in what would become the fourth overtime game of this night, Corey Perry threw the puck towards the net and it bounced off both Calgary goaltender Brian Elliott and defenceman Michael Stone and into the net, giving the Ducks a 3–0 series lead.
In Game 4, Gibson stopped 36 shots by the Flames, but allowed only one goal as the Ducks ended the series with a 3–1 win.
(P2) Edmonton Oilers vs. (P3) San Jose SharksEdit
The Edmonton Oilers finished second in the Pacific Division with 103 points. The San Jose Sharks earned 99 points in the regular season to finish third in the Pacific.
This is the second playoff meeting between these teams; their only previous series was the 2006 Western Conference Semifinals, which Edmonton won in six games. Edmonton won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Oilers defeated the Sharks in six games.
In Edmonton's first playoff game since 2006, the Oilers took a 2–0 lead in the first period, but the Sharks scored three goals over the second, third, and first overtime period winning the game 3–2 from Melker Karlsson's goal. The Oilers scored two shorthanded goals in Game 2 as they blanked San Jose 2–0.
The shutout streak continued in Game 3 as Zack Kassian scored the only goal for the Oilers and Cam Talbot stopped 23 shots. Logan Couture & Joe Pavelski scored two goals each and Martin Jones stopped all 23 shots as the Sharks blanked the Oilers 7–0 in Game 4 to tie the series at two.
The Sharks gained a 3–1 lead over the Oilers in Game 5, but both Mark Letestu and Oscar Klefbom scored to tie the game and send it to overtime. David Desharnais would end it at 18:15 of overtime to give the Oilers a 4–3 triumph and a 3–2 series lead.
In Game 6, the Oilers scored twice in the second period, both on breakaways and closed out the series with a 3–1 win.
Eastern Conference Second RoundEdit
(A2) Ottawa Senators vs. (WC1) New York RangersEdit
This was the second playoff meeting between these two teams; their only previous series was in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals (in which New York won in seven games).
This is the second time under the current playoff format and the second year in a row in which a wild-card team has more points than its opponent during the regular season, but does not have home ice advantage; the other time was the Tampa Bay Lightning and the New York Islanders in last year's Eastern Conference Second Round. Ottawa won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.
The Senators defeated the Rangers in six games.
In Game 1, goaltender Craig Anderson made 34 saves in a 2–1 victory for the Senators.
The Rangers had leads of 3–1, 4–2, and 5–3 in Game 2 only to have the Senators tie up the game on Jean-Gabriel Pageau's hat-trick goal with 1:02 remaining. In double-overtime, Pageau's fourth goal of the game gave the Senators a 6–5 win and a 2–0 series lead.
Mats Zuccarello had a goal and an assist in Game 3 as the Rangers won the affair 4–1.
The Rangers defeated the Senators 4–1 again in Game 4 tying the series 2–2; Oscar Lindberg scored twice in the victory.
The Rangers got an early two-goal lead in Game 5, but the Senators came back scoring three goals in return.
The Rangers regained the lead, however, in the final minutes of the game former-Ranger Derick Brassard tied the game to send it to overtime. Kyle Turris ended the game 6:28 into overtime to give the Senators a 5–4 victory and a 3–2 series lead.
In Game 6, Erik Karlsson netted the series-winning goal and added an assist for the Senators who advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time in ten years after a 4–2 victory.
Ottawa won the series 4–2.
(M1) Washington Capitals vs. (M2) Pittsburgh PenguinsEdit
This was the tenth playoff meeting between these teams and the second consecutive in the second round.
Pittsburgh has won eight of the nine previous series including last year's confrontation which ended in six games. These teams split their four-game regular season series.
The Penguins defeated the Capitals in seven games after they gave up a 3–1 series lead.
In the final eight minutes of Game 1, Nick Bonino scored the game-winning goal as the Penguins once led 2–0 only to have Washington score twice to tie the game, then with 8:24 left in the third period Bonino gave the Penguins a 3–2 lead and thus the victory.
The Capitals got an early 1–0 lead in Game 3 then a goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov put them up by two goals, however, in the final two minutes of the game, the Penguins tied the score 2–2.
Pittsburgh lead 2–0 in Game 4 only to have Washington tie the game, however, 2:49 after Nate Schmidt tied the game for Washington, Justin Schultz on the power play gave the Penguins a 3–2 lead and the victory.
Washington scored three times in the third period of Game 5 after being down one goal to win 4–2. Andre Burakovsky scored twice in Game 6, forcing a seventh game in Washington's 5–2 triumph.
Pittsburgh won the series 4–3.
Western Conference Second RoundEdit
C3) St. Louis Blues vs. (WC2) Nashville PredatorsEdit
This was the first playoff meeting between these teams. Nashville won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Predators defeated the Blues in six games.
The first game of the series had Nashville gain a 3–1 lead, St. Louis then scored twice in the third period to tie the game, but with 5:05 left in the third period, Vernon Fiddler gave the Predators 4–3 lead as well a 1–0 series lead.
In Game 2, Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice including the game-winner, tying the series 1–1 in a 3–2 triumph.
The Predators continued their home-winning streak dating back to last year's first round winning Game 3, by a final score of 3–1 with Colton Sissons assisting twice, increasing the streak to seven home games.
Nashville won their eighth consecutive playoff home game after Game 4, defeating the Blues 2–1 and Pekka Rinne making 32 saves.
Jaden Schwartz broke a 1–1 tie in the third period of Game 5 and maintained the 2–1 lead to a victory.
In Game 6, Ryan Johansen scored the series-winning goal in a 3–1 victory as the Predators moved onto the Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history after eighteen seasons in the league.
Nashville won the series 4–2.
(P1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (P2) Edmonton OilersEdit
This was the second playoff meeting between these teams; their only previous series was in the 2006 Western Conference Finals, which Edmonton won in five games. Edmonton won three of the five games in this year's regular season series.
The Ducks defeated the Oilers in seven games.
Mark Letestu scored twice and Leon Draisaitl had a goal and three assists as the Oilers, who once gained a 3–1 lead in the third period to see the Ducks tie the game in less than three minutes, scored twice in the final five minutes to achieve a 5–3 lead and thus the victory.
Goalie Cam Talbot stopped 39 shots and former-Duck Patrick Maroon scored the game-winning goal in Game 2 for the Oilers' 2–1 victory.
Anaheim took an early 3–0 lead in Game 3 only to see the Oilers tie the game.
In Game 4, Ryan Getzlaf scored twice to take the lead for the Ducks after being down 2–0 in the game, then in 45 seconds into overtime, Silfverberg scored to give the Ducks the victory and the series tie.
The Oilers gained a 3–0 lead in Game 5, but with 3:16 left in the game, the Ducks scored three times to tie the game becoming the first team to score three goals in that span of time left to tie the game.
The comeback was complete at 6:57 of double-overtime when Corey Perry gave Ducks a 4–3 victory and a 3–2 series lead.
The Oilers scored five times in the first period of Game 6 and Draisaitl had a hat trick along with two assists to defeat the Ducks 7–1 and force a seventh game.
In Game 7, Nick Ritchie's goal proved to be the series-winner as the Ducks were able to win a seventh game for the first time since 2006 and advance to the Conference Finals with a 2–1 victory.
Anaheim won the series 4–3.
Eastern Conference FinalEdit
(M2) Pittsburgh Penguins vs. (A2) Ottawa Senators
This is the fifth playoff meeting between these teams with Pittsburgh winning three of the four previous series. They last met in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals, which Pittsburgh won in five games.
This is the second consecutive Conference Finals for Pittsburgh who defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning last year in seven games.
Ottawa last went to the Conference Finals in 2007; they defeated the Buffalo Sabres in five games. Ottawa won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.
The Penguins defeated the Senators in seven games.
In the first period of Game 3, the Senators scored four times including three in a span of 2:18 leading them into a 5–1 victory.
In his first playoff game since his injury before the first game of the playoffs, goaltender Matt Murray made 24 saves and stopped a comeback from Ottawa in a 3–2 victory for Pittsburgh. He stopped all 26 shots and the Penguins routed the Senators 7–0 in Game 5 to take a 3–2 series lead.
Craig Anderson made 45 saves in Game 6, forcing a seventh game in a 2–1 victory. In Game 7, Chris Kunitz of the Penguins and Mark Stone of the Senators started the scoring 20 seconds apart in the second period.
After both Justin Schultz and Ryan Dzingel made the game 2–2, the match headed into overtime. In double-overtime, Kunitz scored his second of the game to send the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Finals for the second consecutive year.
Western Conference FinalEdit
(P1) Anaheim Ducks vs. (WC2) Nashville PredatorsEdit
This is the second consecutive playoff meeting and the third overall between these teams with Nashville winning both previous series including last year's first round confrontation in seven games.
Anaheim last made the Conference Finals in 2015 where they were defeated in seven games by the Chicago Blackhawks.
This is Nashville's first Conference Finals appearance in their 19-year history. Anaheim won two of the three games in this year's regular season series.
The Predators defeated the Ducks in six games.
The first game of the series went into overtime, and at 9:24 James Neal put the puck past the Ducks goaltender to take Game 1, 3–2.
In Game 2, the Ducks rallied from an early-two-goal deficit to defeat the Predators 5–3 and Ryan Getzlaf assisted thrice in the victory.
Nashville kept their home playoff win streak alive in Game 3, winning 2–1; after a pair of goals were disallowed due to goaltender interference, Roman Josi scored for the Predators with 2:43 left in the game.
Although Nashville tied the game after being down by two goals in Game 4, Anaheim won the game on Corey Perry's goal 10:25 into overtime, tying the series 2–2 in a 3–2 victory.
Pekka Rinne made 32 saves in Game 5 for the Predators as Nashville took a 3–2 series lead in a 3–1 victory
In Game 6, Colton Sissons' hat trick goal was the series-winning goal in a 6–3 win, putting the Nashville Predators in the Finals for the first time in their 19-year history.
This season marks the sixth postseason under NBC Sports' current 10-year contract for American television rights. Playoff games will be nationally televised by either NBC, NBCSN, CNBC, USA Network, NHL Network or a local station (for example, Rangers games would also be shown on MSG).
All games on NBCUniversal channels will be streamed on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports mobile app. During the first round, excluding games exclusively broadcast by NBC, these national telecasts will co-exist with those of regional rightsholders.
Unlike previous seasons, national telecasts during the first round will no longer be subject to blackout on television in favor of local rightsholders; however, this will not apply in Boston or Pittsburgh.
For first round games involving teams whose regional rights are held by NBC Sports Regional Networks (Chicago, San Jose and Washington), NBC cable networks are utilizing feeds produced by the local broadcaster dubbed with national commentators, rather than sending a separate production unit for the national broadcast.
In Canada, for the third postseason under Rogers Media's current 12-year contract, coverage will be broadcast by Sportsnet networks and CBC Television (under the "Hockey Night in Canada" brand) and streaming on Sportsnet Now and Rogers NHL GameCentre Live. French-language coverage of the series will be on TVA Sports.
As per an agreement with CBC Television this postseason, no games will air on the public broadcaster's network for the first four Sunday nights of the playoffs so it can air the documentary miniseries "Canada: The Story of Us" without any pre-emption.