NHL playoffs 2017: Schedule, live scores, and bracket for Friday, April 21

The 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs are underway.

The 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs are underway.

The perennial favorites are back and as strong as ever. The Washington Capitals led the NHL in points once again, the Pittsburgh Penguins followed closely on their heels, and the Chicago Blackhawks are the odds-on favorite to win it all again.

But unfamiliar faces are joining the fray. The Columbus Blue Jackets are suddenly a legitimate threat to oust the defending champion Penguins in the first round. The Edmonton Oilers are back in the playoffs after a decade-long absence. Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto join them as Canada fills up the bracket.

Should be a fun few months.

The format

The top three teams in each division — Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central, Pacific — earned automatic postseason berths, while the final four spots were given to two wild card teams in each conference based on point totals. The top seeds in both conferences play against the lowest wild card teams in the first round, and the other division winners face off against the other wild card qualifiers. Otherwise, the matchups aren’t based on conference standings — rather, the second and third seeds in each division square off. From there, whomever emerges from the series involving division champions take on the winners of the series involving the second and third seeds, in what is known as the conference semifinals. The winners advance to the Conference Finals, and then the Stanley Cup Final.

Each series is best-of-seven, played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format.

The teams

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division

1. Montreal Canadiens — 103 points

2. Ottawa Senators — 98 points

3. Boston Bruins — 95 points

Metropolitan Division

1. Washington Capitals — 118 points

2. Pittsburgh Penguins — 111 points

3. Columbus Blue Jackets — 108 points

Wild Card

1. New York Rangers — 102 points

2. Toronto Maple Leafs — 95 points

Western Conference

Central Division

1. Chicago Blackhawks — 109 points

2. Minnesota Wild — 106 points

3. St. Louis Blues — 99 points

Pacific Division

1. Anaheim Ducks — 105 points

2. Edmonton Oilers — 103 points

3. San Jose Sharks — 99 points

Wild Card

1. Calgary Flames — 94 points

2. Nashville Predators — 94 points

Bracket

You can find the full live bracket at our SB Nation NHL playoff guide right here!

Schedule and results

All times Eastern

*if necessary

First round

Friday, April 21

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 5: Toronto Maple Leafs 1, Washington Capitals 2 (OT)
Game 5: Boston Bruins 3, Ottawa Senators 2 (2OT)

Saturday, April 22

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 6: Montreal Canadiens at New York Rangers, 8 p.m. (NBC)

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 5: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild, 3 p.m. (NBC)
Game 6: Edmonton Oilers at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

Sunday, April 23

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 6*: Ottawa Senators at Boston Bruins, 3 p.m. (NBC)
Game 6: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)

Monday, April 24

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 7*: NY Rangers at Montreal Canadiens

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 6*: Minnesota Wild at St. Louis Blues
Game 7*: San Jose Sharks at Edmonton Oilers

Tuesday, April 25

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 7*: Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals

Wednesday, April 26

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 7*: Boston Bruins at Ottawa Senators

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 7*: St. Louis Blues at Minnesota Wild


First Round

Wednesday, April 12

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 1: Boston Bruins 2, Ottawa Senators 1

Game 1: NY Rangers 2, Montreal Canadiens 0

Game 1: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 1: St. Louis Blues 2, Minnesota Wild 1 (OT)

Game 1: San Jose Sharks 3, Edmonton Oilers 2 (OT)

Thursday, April 13

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 1: Washington Capitals 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 (OT)

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 1: Nashville Predators 1, Chicago Blackhawks 0

Game 1: Anaheim Ducks 3, Calgary Flames 2

Friday, April 14

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 2: Montreal Canadiens 4, New York Rangers 3 (OT)

Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 2: St. Louis Blues 2, Minnesota Wild 1

Game 2: Edmonton Oilers 2, San Jose Sharks 0

Saturday, April 15

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 2: Ottawa Senators 4, Boston Bruins 3 (OT)

Game 2: Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Washington Capitals 3 (2 OT)

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 2: Nashville Predators 5, Chicago Blackhawks 0

Game 2: Anaheim Ducks 3, Calgary Flames 2

Sunday, April 16

Game 3: Blues 3, Wild 1

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (OT)

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 3: Montreal Canadiens 3, New York Rangers 1

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 3: Edmonton Oilers 1, San Jose Sharks 0

Monday, April 17

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 3: Ottawa Senators 4, Boston Bruins 3 (OT)

Game 3: Toronto Maple Leafs 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)

Western Conference quarterfinals

Chicago Blackhawks at Nashville Predators 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (OT)

Game 3: Anaheim Ducks 5, Calgary Flames 4 (OT)

Tuesday, April 18

Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Game 4: Montreal Canadiens 1, New York Rangers 2

Game 4: Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 5

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 4: Edmonton Oilers 0, San Jose Sharks 7

Wednesday, April 19

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 4: Washington Capitals 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 4

Game 4: Ottawa Senators 1, Boston Bruins 0

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 4: Minnesota Wild 2, St. Louis Blues 0

Game 4: Anaheim Ducks 3, Calgary Flames 1

Thursday, April 20

Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 5: New York Rangers 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (OT)
Game 5: Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 2

Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 4: Nashville Predators 4, Chicago Blackhawks 1
Game 5: Edmonton Oilers 4, San Jose Sharks 3 (OT)

Future Round Schedules TBD

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Welcome back, Judy!

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Griffin headed to the locker room in the first half.

Blake Griffin will not return to Game 3 of the JazzClippers series with a bruised right toe, the Clippers announced on Friday. Griffin headed back to the locker room after apparently sustaining the injury on this play.

He didn’t appear to be pleased leaving the court.

Griffin missed 18 games in the middle of the season after undergoing a minor arthroscopic knee surgery, finishing with 61 games played. It’s the third straight season he has played fewer than 70 games, suiting up for only 35 last year and 67 in the 2014-15 season.

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Griffin had 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting before he exited the game, and his absence dissipates the big man advantage that Los Angeles had over Utah.

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