Sunday’s NHL playoff games include Battle of Florida

The Carolina Hurricanes and Boston Bruins skated away with victories in the opening games of the NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs on Saturday.

Sunday, the final two Eastern Conference series get underway and two Western Conference openers are on the schedule.

The slate starts in the afternoon with the Tampa Bay Lightning visiting the Florida Panthers, a meeting of two teams that have been in the last four Stanley Cup Finals. The Presidents’ Trophy-winning New York Rangers host the Washington Capitals, the Colorado Avalanche visit the Winnipeg Jets and the night ends with the Nashville Predators visiting the Vancouver Canucks.

Here’s what to know about Sunday’s NHL playoff games:

When are Sunday’s NHL playoff games?

All times p.m. ET

Tampa Bay Lightning at Florida Panthers, 12:30

Washington Capitals at New York Rangers, 3

Colorado Avalanche at Winnipeg Jets, 7

Nashville Predators at Vancouver Canucks, 10

How to watch Sunday’s NHL playoff games

The first, second and fourth games are on ESPN, while the Avalanche-Jets game will be on ESPN2.

Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Florida Panthers: What to know

The Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Final last season while the Lightning won back-to-back championships in 2020 and 2021 and lost in the 2022 Final. Florida won the season series 2-1, including a 9-2 victory in which 14 misconduct penalties were handed out. Lightning winger Nikita Kucherov led the NHL with 144 points while Florida’s Sergei Bobrovsky was one of the league’s top goalies. Tampa Bay’s Anthony Duclair played for the Panthers last season.

Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers: What to know

Presidents’ Trophy winners don’t succeed often but the Rangers won the Stanley Cup in 1994 and got to the conference final in 2015. Rangers coach Peter Laviolette was with the Capitals from 2020-23. He was replaced by Spencer Carbery. The teams split the season series 2-2. Capitals goalie Charlie Lindgren excelled, going 2-1 with a 1.35 goals-against average and .955 save percentage. His brother, Ryan, plays for the Rangers.

Colorado Avalanche vs. Winnipeg Jets: What to know

Avalanche star Nathan MacKinnon is one of the favorites for the Hart Trophy and Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck is expected to win the Vezina Trophy. The season series went heavily to the Jets, who won all three games and outscored the Avalanche 17-4. That includes a 7-0 win on April 13. Colorado won’t have injured forward Jonathan Drouin for the series.

Nashville Predators vs. Vancouver Canucks: What to know

The Canucks swept the season series 3-0 and made Predators goalie Juuse Saros (4.81, .833) look ordinary. But that’s before the Predators had an 18-game point streak in February and March. Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes and Nashville’s Roman Josi are expected to be finalists for the Norris Trophy.

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