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.
Stamkos hat trick leads Lightning over Islanders, 6-4 https://t.co/zrr9oF9Ph0— X - Raw Charge (@RawCharge) April 30, 2022
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
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.
The Syracuse Crunch clinched a home ice in the North Division Semifinals after beating the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins last night.
Ben Groulx is now our winningest coach in franchise history ☑️— x - Syracuse Crunch (@SyracuseCrunch) April 30, 2022
We’ve clinched home ice in the North Division Semifinals ☑️
We’ve set a new franchise record with a 12-game home winning streak ☑️
: https://t.co/tM7GwETSOW pic.twitter.com/Y8RF4Yu0Ac
The full Stanley Cup playoffs bracket:
The time is here – it’s the moment every hockey fan has been waiting for…— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) April 30, 2022
The First Round schedule for the 2022 #StanleyCup Playoffs is set. Find your team, fill your calendar, get your bracket ready and let the mayhem begin.#NHLStats: https://t.co/iobl99wjdo pic.twitter.com/XzIbFnUr40
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 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.