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2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round TV Schedule

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After a year’s hiatus, our annual guide to what’s on where for the first round of the playoffs returns!

NHL: Stanley Cup Final-Tampa Bay Lightning at Dallas Stars Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

As is our tradition here at Canes Country, it’s time to unveil the Television Super Schedule for the first round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Unlike in most years, this year’s playoff schedule is a slow ramp up, owing to the fact that the Canadian teams will not begin their first round games until at least Wednesday. The result is a more drawn-out schedule that could take a couple extra days beyond the typical two-week window, depending on how many series go deep. Below is the schedule for the first round, with times and networks listed, so that you can plan your distractions for the next two weeks.

A few notes:

  • Local broadcasters are allowed to broadcast any first-round games not airing on national network TV. The Hurricanes, as per, are not scheduled for a national game broadcast so far, and they’re unlikely to get one except for maybe a potential Game 7 on Saturday, May 29, or a very outside shot on Sunday, May 23 for Game 4, if the Bruins/Capitals series ends in a sweep and NBC has a doubleheader (neither of which is anywhere close to a guarantee). That means that you’ll be able to hear the dulcet tones of Mike Maniscalco and Tripp Tracy for all games, most likely.
  • National cable broadcasts will not be blacked out, so you can watch on CNBC, USA Network or whatever low-budget public access station NBC airs the games on in addition to Bally Sports South within the Hurricanes’ TV market.
  • From the second round on, broadcasts are exclusive to national broadcasters. The Bally Sports broadcasts will end at the conclusion of the first round, regardless of whether the Canes advance.
  • All games scheduled on or after Sunday, May 23 are listed as TBD. The NHL will determine times and networks depending on what other series are still active. We’ll update the schedule as it changes, so bookmark this page and come back as the series get into the later games.
  • You can also subscribe to this calendar to put it on your mobile device, so you’ll have it easily available. Here’s the iCal address and here’s the HTML address. If you’re loading onto an Apple device, iCal is the way to go. Otherwise, head for the HTML link.
  • If you subscribed to the Super Schedule in the past, this is the same calendar (just with updated information), so you will not need to resubscribe - it will show up automatically.
  • Whenever possible, NBCSN will have doubleheaders almost every night. Other games in the first round will air mostly on USA and CNBC (the official networks of the Central Division, it seems), with a few weekend games on NBC and Game 1 of the Maple Leafs/Canadiens series on NHL Network.
  • As of right now, NBC is scheduled to air doubleheaders on the first Sunday, May 16, and the second Saturday, May 23. Beyond that, whether a doubleheader will be scheduled is largely going to be determined by how many series are still ongoing.

Enjoy the best time of the year for hockey fans!