NHL unveils conference finals schedule
The NHL's conference finals will begin Sunday afternoon when the Detroit Red Wings host the Chicago Blackhawks to open the Western matchup, while the Eastern series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes starts Monday night.
CBC's Hockey Night in Canada will broadcast Games 3 through a possible 7 of both playoff series.
Game 3 of the Western final is set for Friday, May 22, in Chicago (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7:30 p.m. ET).
Game 3 of the Eastern final takes place in Carolina on Saturday, May 23 (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).
Interim executive director of CBC Sports David Masse said the broadcast schedule is a result of negotiations with the NHL that ended two years ago and came into effect this season.
He said ideally CBC would broadcast every playoff game possible, but the network has to work within its agreement with the NHL.
"We're delighted that people want to watch hockey on CBC, and we're working with our agreements with the NHL to bring the best coverage possible," Masse said. "We're still the home of the best of the playoffs, including exclusively the Stanley Cup finals, where they've been for the past 58 years."
The Hurricanes reached their second conference championship series in four years with a 3-2 overtime win over the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinal on Thursday night. Defending Eastern champion Pittsburgh advanced by crushing Washington 6-2 in their own Game 7 on Wednesday.
Earlier Thursday, the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings returned to the Western final with a 4-3 victory in Game 7 of their series against Anaheim. The Blackhawks earned their first conference final berth in 14 years by finishing off Vancouver in six games on Monday.