The Pittsburgh Penguins looking to become the first back-to-back Stanley Cup champions since the 1997-1998 Detroit Red Wings, begin their title defense Wednesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The series begins in Pittsburgh Wednesday and Friday night for Games 1 and 2 before shifting to Columbus for a Sunday evening start at 6:00 p.m. There are no two-day breaks in the series through Games 1-5.
ROUND 1 SCHEDULE
Game 1: Wednesday April 12, 7:30PM | PPG Paints Arena
Game 2: Friday April 14, 7:00PM | PPG Paints Arena
Game 3 Sunday, April 16, 6:00PM | Nationwide Arena
Game 4:Tuesday April 18, 7:30PM | Nationwide Arena
Game 5: Thursday April 20, TBD | PPG Paints Arena
Game 6: Sunday April 23, TBD | Nationwide Arena
Game 7: Tuesday April 25, TBD | PPG Paints Arena
The Penguins finishing the regular season with 111 points, boasted the second most points in the NHL and second best home record in the NHL, going 31-6-4 at PPG Paints Arena.
Pittsburgh would have home-ice in the playoffs against every opponent except Washington. The President Trophy winning Capitals open the playoffs Thursday night vs the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Pittsburgh and Washington again are the clear favorites to come out of the East and many believe they’re on a collision course to meet each other again in Round 2.
The other series in the East are Montreal vs New York Rangers and Ottawa vs Boston in what is a wide open Atlantic Division bracket. The only surprise would be Ottawa coming out of the bracket.