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Lightning Round: NHL reveals the schedule for the first round of Stanley Cup Playoffs

The Lightning open their first-round matchup on Monday in Toronto

Toronto Maple Leafs v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

After beating the New York Islanders at UBS Arena in the final game of the regular season, the Tampa Bay Lightning officially finished the season at third place in the Atlantic Division with 115 points in 82 games, and locked their first-round matchup against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Stamkos led the Bolts with three goals in the final game of the regular season.

The regular season isn’t officially over as the Seattle Kraken and the Winnipeg Jets will face each other in the very last game of the regular season on Sunday, but since that game have no impact on playoff seeding, the NHL have already released the full schedule for the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The defending Stanley Cup champs start their potential three-peat campaign on Monday at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto:

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Monday, May 2: Lightning at Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN2)

Wednesday, May 4: Lightning at Maple Leafs, 7:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports, ESPN2)

Friday, May 6: Maple Leafs at Lightning, 7:30 p.m. ET (TBS, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)

Sunday, May 8: Maple Leafs at Lightning, 7 p.m. ET (TBS, Sportsnet, CBC, TVA Sports)

*Tuesday, May 10: Lightning at Maple Leafs, TBD

*Thursday, May 12: Maple Leafs at Lightning, TBD

*Saturday, May 14: Lightning at Maple Leafs, TBD

*if necessary

It will be the first-ever playoff matchup between the Bolts and the Leafs in NHL history. The Leafs haven’t won a single playoff series since 2004, when they beat the Ottawa Senators in the Conference Quarterfinals and were eliminated by the Philadelphia Flyers in the next round, while the Lightning have won eight playoff series in a row, winning two last Stanley Cups. Over this regular season the Lightning and the Leafs faced each other four times, with each team winning twice. The Lightning defeated the Leafs 8-1 in their previous meeting.

Lightning Links

The Syracuse Crunch clinched a home ice in the North Division Semifinals after beating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night.

Hockey News

The full Stanley Cup playoffs bracket:

A Friday night was quite eventful in the NHL.

The Anaheim Ducks were forced to bring in emergency backup goalie Tom Hodges after both John Gibson and Anthony Stolarz suffered injury in the game. Hodges, who had just one professional game before, made two saves, but his team still lost to the Dallas Stars, who clinched the first wild card spot in this game.

The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Florida Panthers 10-1 in their last game of the regular season. Carey Price recorded his first and only win of this regular season.

The Nashville Predators blew a three-goal lead over the Arizone Coyotes, losing first wild card spot in Western Conference to the Dallas Stars. The Preds will face the Colorado Avalanche in the first round.

The Buffalo Sabres’ Malcolm Subban in a very unusual role.