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Updated league standings, potential first-round matchups

The NHL’s Stanley Cup playoffs will begin in mid-April and the biggest question is whether the Boston Bruins can keep their spectacular play going through four rounds of the postseason.

They have already clinched a playoff spot and have a chance to break the NHL record of 62 wins in a season. But which other teams will make it and what are the matchups in the first round?

USA TODAY Sports is here with everything you need to know about the NHL playoffs, including updated playoff brackets. Here’s a comprehensive look at the current NHL postseason outlook, including when the playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final are scheduled to start:

This file will be updated weekly.

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs are projected to meet in the first round of the playoffs for the second year in a row.

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Updated NHL playoff standings


(as of March 21 — complete standings can be found here)

Metropolitan Division

Carolina Hurricanes

New Jersey Devils

New York Rangers

Atlantic Division

Boston Bruins

Toronto Maple Leafs

Tampa Bay Lightning

Wild cards

New York Islanders

Florida Panthers

Currently out of playoff position

Pittsburgh Penguins

Washington Capitals

Ottawa Senators

Buffalo Sabres

Detroit Red Wings

Philadelphia Flyers

Montreal Canadiens

Columbus Blue Jackets


Central Division

Dallas Stars

Minnesota Wild

Colorado Avalanche

Pacific Division

Vegas Golden Knights

Los Angeles Kings

Edmonton Oilers

Wild card

Seattle Kraken

Winnipeg Jets

Currently out of playoff position

Calgary Flames

Nashville Predators

St. Louis Blues

Vancouver Canucks

Arizona Coyotes

Anaheim Ducks

Chicago Blackhawks

San Jose Sharks

Eastern Conference playoff bracket

(as of March 21)

Boston Bruins vs. Florida Panthers

Carolina Hurricanes vs. New York Islanders

New Jersey Devils vs. New York Rangers

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning

Western Conference

(as of March 21)

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets

Dallas Stars vs. Seattle Kraken

Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche

Los Angeles Kings vs. Edmonton Oilers

When do the Stanley Cup playoffs begin?

They’re scheduled to begin on April 17, three days after the scheduled April 14 end of the regular season.

What is the tentative starting date of the Stanley Cup Final?

The scheduled starting date is June 3, although that’s subject to change. TNT will air the games.

Who won the Stanley Cup in 2022?

The Colorado Avalanche won for the first time since 2001. They defeated the two-time defending champion Tampa Bay Lightning in six games.

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When is the NHL draft?

The NHL draft is June 28 (first round) and June 29 (Rounds 2-7) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena. The NHL draft lottery will be held at 7 pm ET on May 8 among the 16 non-playoff teams or teams that acquired their first-round picks in a trade. Teams can move up a maximum of 10 spots in the two drawings. Only the bottom 11 teams will have a chance to draft generational talent Connor Bedard at No. 1 overall.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: NHL playoff bracket 2023 updates: Standings, schedule for postseason

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