We've known that the San Jose Sharks would play the Los Angeles Kings in the first round since Detroit beat Chicago in regulation early this morning. We just didn't know when that matchup would start.
Now we do.
The NHL released the playoff schedule for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs tonight; the Kings and the Sharks will open their series Thursday night, April 14th, at HP Pavilion. Puck drops at 7 PM. Game two will take place Saturday at 7 before the series heads back to Los Angeles for at least two.
Here's how the schedule for these two teams shakes out:
Thursday, April 14th @ 7PM: Kings @ Sharks
Saturday, April 16th @ 7PM: Kings @ Sharks
Tuesday, April 19th @ 7:30PM: Sharks @ Kings
Thursday, April 21st @ 7:30PM: Sharks @ Kings
Saturday, April 23rd @ 7:30PM: Kings @ Sharks*
Monday, April 25th @ TBD: Sharks @ Kings*
Wednesday, April 27th @ TBD: Kings @ Sharks*
There will be some great hockey starting Wednesday, especially when Vancouver starts their opening series against the Chicago Blackhawks. Although the Blackhawks failed to win their final game, they got some help from Minnesota who beat Dallas to eliminate that Stars from contention and secure Chicago the eighth seed. Chicago isn't as dangerous as they were last season, but there's got to be some doubt in the minds of the Vancouver players; the Blackhawks have eliminated the Canucks in each of the last two postseasons.
Playoff hockey is great, but most eyes around here will be solely focused on the Sharks and Kings.
In that regard, it all starts Thursday.