NHL playoffs schedule announced
The 2012 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs will get under way Wednesday with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Philadelphia Flyers, the league announced Sunday.
The Detroit Red Wings will also face off against the Nashville Predators that night, while the Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks will begin their best-of-seven game series against the Los Angeles Kings.
Sixteen of the league's 30 teams will be competing for Lord Stanley's Cup, won last year by the Boston Bruins in a dramatic Game 7 victory over Vancouver.
The Canucks won the President's Trophy as the team with the NHL's best 2011-2012 regular season record at 51-22-9, just ahead of the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers, who finished 51-24-7.
In the East, the No. 1-seeded Rangers will play the eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators. The No. 2-seeded Bruins will play the No. 7 seed Washington Capitals, the No. 3 seed Florida Panthers will play the No. 6 seed New Jersey Devils and the Penguins will battle it out with the fifth-seeded Flyers.
In the West, the No. 2-seeded St. Louis Blues will face the No. 7 seed San Jose Sharks, while the No. 3 seed Phoenix Coyotes will have home-ice advantage against the No. 6 seed Chicago Blackhawks.
A team must win four best-of-seven series, or 16 games, to win the Stanley Cup.