By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
And then there were eight.
With the first round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs wrapped up with Philadelphia and Vancouver wins on Friday night, the league will move into the second round of postseason play on Saturday night.
That action will begin out West, with the Dallas Stars and Colorado Avalanche going head-to-head for their first series since 2006. (The Vegas Golden Knights and Canucks will begin their round-two series the following night.)
In the East, meanwhile, dates between division rivals have been set, with the Flyers and New York Islanders set to go head-to-head while the Boston Bruins and Tampa Bay Lightning renew a 2019-20 rivalry that’s already written five chapters.
Here are the dates and times for this Atlantic Powerhouse battle between the B’s and Bolts…
Game 1: Sunday, Aug. 23 (8 p.m.)
The Bruins will begin their third all-time playoff series in the Sunday Night
Football Hockey spot on NBC. The Lightning, who entered the reseeded 2020 playoffs as the No. 2 seed, will have last change as the home team.
Game 2: Tuesday, Aug. 25 (7 p.m.)
Game 3: Wednesday, Aug. 26 (8 p.m.)
You won’t have to wait long for the Bruins to come face-to-face with their second back-to-back of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs. With Jaroslav Halak backed up by Daniel Vladar (zero games of NHL experience), the Bruins are going to hope that they get off to a good start in this series or preserve the shots against Halak in Game 2.
Game 4: Friday, Aug. 28 (7:30 p.m.)
Game 5 (if necessary): Sunday, Aug. 30 (TBD)
The Bruins and Bolts both wrapped up their first-round victories with Game 5 wins. The 2018 postseason series between these teams was also ended in five games, with the Lightning winning four straight after dropping Game 1.
Game 6 (if necessary): Tuesday, Sept. 1 (TBD)
This may mean nothing (or everything), but the Bruins were involved in three Game 6 contests in 2019. They won all three.
Game 7 (if necessary): Wednesday, Sept. 2 (TBD)
Should this series go the distance, the Bruins and Lightning will settle things in yet another back-to-back. That would also mean that the teams had played five games in eight days. That’s an even more compressed schedule than the one the Bruins would’ve faced had their first-round series with Carolina gone six games. Really odd move by the NHL, but whatever.
All Bruins games can be heard on 98.5 The Sports Hub, with Bob Beers and Judd Sirott on the call.
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.