The Eagle's Cry

NHL Conference Finals Preview

Winnipeg v Vegas Washington v Tampa Bay

Patrick Kerrigan, Sports Editor

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The expansion Vegas Golden Knights will resume their chase for the Stanley Cup when they play Game 1 of the Western Conference Final at the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVAS). The Golden Knights became the third team in NHL history to win two playoff series in their inaugural season when they completed a six-game, second-round series against the San Jose Sharks with a 3-0 win. The Jets eliminated the Nashville Predators in seven games to advance to their first conference final. Neither of these teams have ever made it to the Conference Finals, let alone win a playoff series in their franchise histories before this postseason. The Jets have some veteran experience with Dustin Byfuglien, a stanley cup winner with the Blackhawks in 2010. As as well the Golden Knights have experience with Marc-Andre Fleury, a 3-time champion as well as many other veterans.

In the Eastern Conference, the Tampa Bay Lightning, who are in the final for the third time in four seasons, will host the Washington Capitals in Game 1 at Amalie Arena on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVAS). The Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins in five games in the second round. Washington, which eliminated the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 on Monday, is in the conference final for the first time since 1998. Also this is the first time in legendary career of Alex Ovechkin that he will make it past the 2nd round. The Tampa Bay Lightning come into this series as a heavy favorite with a stellar defensive core led by Ryan McDonagh, Victor Hedman, Anton Stralman and Mikhail Sergachev and a blazing offense led by Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Brayden Point.

This will be the first year since 2009 that the Stanley Cup Champion won’t be either the Penguins, Blackhawks, Bruins, or Kings.

Here is the complete schedule for both conferences

EASTERN CONFERENCE (* If Necessary)

Friday, May 11, 8 p.m.: Capitals @ Lightning | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Sunday, May 13, 8 p.m.: Capitals @ Lightning | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Tuesday, May 15, 8 p.m.: Lightning @ Capitals | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Thursday, May 17, 8 p.m.: Lightning @ Capitals | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

*Saturday, May 19, 7:15 p.m.: Capitals @ Lightning | NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

*Monday, May 21, 8 p.m.: Lightning @ Capitals | NBCSN, CBC, SN1, TVA Sports

*Wednesday, May 23, 8 p.m.: Capitals @ Lightning | NBCSN, CBC, SN1, TVA Sports

WESTERN CONFERENCE (* if necessary)

Saturday, May 12, 7 p.m.: Golden Knights @ Jets | NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

Monday, May 14, 8 p.m.: Golden Knights @ Jets | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Wednesday, May 16, 9 p.m.: Jets @ Golden Knights | NBCSN, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

Friday, May 18, 8 p.m.: Jets @ Golden Knights | NBCSN, CBC, SN1, TVA Sports

Sunday, May 20, 3 p.m.: Golden Knights @ Jets | NBC, CBC, SN, TVA Sports

*Tuesday, May 22, 9 p.m.: Jets @ Golden Knights | NBCSN, CBC, SN1, TVA Sports

*Thursday, May 24, 8 p.m.: Golden Knights @ Jets | NBCSN, CBC, SN1, TVA Sports

 

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