306-crosby-alfredsson

Ottawa's Daniel Alfredsson, left, hope this year, the Senators can get by Sidney Crosby and his Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round, something they couldn't do last season. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)

Let the games begin.

CBC's Hockey Night in Canada kicks off its annual Stanley Cup playoff coverage with a familiar matchup.

The Ottawa Senators will commence the festivities by travelling to Pittsburgh to play the defending champion Penguins on Wednesday night (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

As part of its doubleheader coverage, CBC will then broadcast the opening game of the Avalanche-Sharks series, which starts in San Jose, Calif., (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10:30 p.m. ET).

This is the third time in four years that the Senators and Penguins will do battle in the first round. Two seasons ago, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin led the Penguins to the Stanley Cup final, a run that began with a four-game sweep of the Senators.

The Penguins play the first two games at home — Wednesday and Friday — before the series shifts to Ottawa on Sunday and next Tuesday.

"CBC's Hockey Night in Canada continues the long-standing tradition of bringing the passion of the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs to Canadians," said Sherali Najak, HNIC's executive producer. "Our mandate is to provide hockey fans with an exciting schedule and unparalleled coverage of the matchups, players and personalities that make this our game."

On Thursday, the Vancouver Canucks host the Los Angeles Kings at GM Place (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 10 p.m. ET). The Canucks hope to ride the hot hand of the league's top point man, Henrik Sedin, past the Kings, who are making their first post-season appearance in eight years.

CBC will begin Thursday's doubleheader with a clash between the Boston Bruins and Sabres in Buffalo. (CBC, CBCSports.ca, 7 p.m. ET).

Before all the action begins, don't forget to check out CBCSports.ca's Stanley Cup Countdown on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, a program that continues throughout the playoffs.

The daily, 30-minute preview show will be hosted by Scott Morrison and Jeff Marek, and will preview the upcoming night's games, as well as look back at what transpired the previous night.

2010 Stanley Cup's opening round on CBC, CBCSports.ca

DATE TIME (EASTERN) TEAMS
Wednesday, April 14

7 p.m.

10:30 p.m.

Ottawa at Pittsburgh (GAME 1)

Colorado at San Jose (GAME 1)

Thursday, April 15

7 p.m.

10 p.m.

Boston at Buffalo (GAME 1)

Los Angeles at Vancouver (GAME 1)

Friday, April 16

7 p.m.

10:30 p.m.

Ottawa at Pittsburgh (GAME 2)

Colorado at San Jose (GAME 2)

Saturday, April 17

1 p.m.

9:30 p.m.

10 p.m.

Boston at Buffalo (GAME 2)

Scotiabank Hockey Tonight

Los Angeles at Vancouver (GAME 2)

Sunday, April 18

6 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

9:30 p.m.

Scotiabank Hockey Tonight

Pittsburgh at Ottawa (GAME 3)

San Jose at Colorado (GAME 3)

Monday, April 19

7 p.m.

10 p.m.

Buffalo at Boston (GAME 3)

Vancouver at Los Angeles (GAME 3)

Tuesday, April 20

7 p.m.

10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Ottawa (GAME 4)

San Jose at Colorado (GAME 4)

Wednesday, April 21

7 p.m.

10 p.m.

Buffalo at Boston (GAME 4)

Vancouver at Los Angeles (GAME 4)

Thursday, April 22

7 p.m.

10:30 p.m.

Ottawa at Pittsburgh (GAME 5 if necessary)

Colorado at San Jose (GAME 5 if necessary)

Friday, Aprill 23

7 p.m.

10 p.m.

Boston at Buffalo (GAME 5 if necessary)

Los Angeles at Vancouver (GAME 5 if necessary)

Saturday, April 24

TBA

7 p.m.

TBA

Scotiabank Hockey Tonight (GAME 6 if necessary)

Pittsburgh at Ottawa (GAME 6 if necessary)

San Jose at Colorado (GAME 6 if necessary)

Sunday, April 25

TBA

TBA

Scotiabank Hockey Tonight (GAME 6 if necessary)

Vancouver at Los Angeles (GAME 6 if necessary)

Monday, April 26

7 p.m.

TBA

Buffalo at Boston (GAME 6 if necessary)

Colorado at San Jose (GAME 7 if necessary)

Tuesday, April 27

7 p.m.

TBA

Ottawa at Pittsburgh (GAME 7 if necessary)

Los Angeles at Vancouver (GAME 7 if necessary)

Wednesday, April 28 7 p.m. Boston at Buffalo (GAME 7 if necessary)