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NHL sets times for weekend slate of games

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Toronto - Columbus gets top billing on Sunday

Toronto Maple Leafs v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Andre Ringuette/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images

With seven of the eight play-in series out of the way, the NHL has set the schedule for a less busy than anticipated weekend of action as the qualification round of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs is just about finished.

There will be only two games on tap today.

First up is the Vegas Golden Knights vs. the Colorado Avalanche at 3 p.m. on NBC. Both teams are 2-0 in the round robin, so this tilt will decide the 1 and 2 seeds in the Western Conference. The winner of this game gets the Chicago Blackhawks (12) while the loser will take on the Arizona Coyotes (11).

Not too much of a difference there, so this one might be more for bragging rights, although given the choice, I think I’d rather face the less playoff savvy Desert Dogs.

NBC also has the prime time game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning at 8 p.m. These teams are also 2-0, so this will decide the 1 and 2 seeds in the Eastern Conference. The winner of this game will get the Montreal Canadiens (12) while loser will face the winner of the Toronto (8) - Columbus (9) series.

This should be hard-fought game as I think both of these teams will want the chance to face-off against the Habs instead of the more dangerous (at least on paper) Maple Leafs or Blue Jackets.

NBCSN kicks off the coverage on Sunday at noon when the 0-2 Boston Bruins face the 0-1-1 Washington Capitals to decide who is the 3 seed and who is the 4 seed. The winner of this game gets the New York Islanders (7), who dispatched our Florida Panthers in four games, while the loser will face the Carolina Hurricanes (6).

I’d really want to win this game to avoid the Hurricanes, they looked really impressive in sweeping the New York Rangers.

NBC will air the Dallas Stars and St. Louis Blues at 3 p.m. Both teams are 0-2 in round robin play. The winner of this game will get the Calgary Flames (8) while the loser will get the Vancouver Canucks (6).

Not much difference between playing the Flames or Canucks in my opinion, I think playing well and getting a win under their belts will be more the focus of the Stars and Blues,

And finally... The game that will complete the playoff picture for the Round of 16 will be the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs at 8 p.m. on NBCSN. As mentioned above, the winner of this game will play the loser of tonight’s Lightning - Flyers contest.

Today’s Games

Seeding 3: Vegas Golden Knights (2-0) at Colorado Avalanche (2-0) 3 p.m. NBC

Seeding 3: Philadelphia Flyers (2-0) at Tampa Bay Lightning (2-0) 8 p.m. NBC

Sunday’s Games

Seeding 3: Boston Bruins (0-2) at Washington Capitals (0-1-1) 12 p.m. NBCSN

Seeding 3: Dallas (0-2) at St. Louis Blues (0-1-1) 3 p.m. NBC

Game 5: Columbus Blue Jackets at Toronto Maple Leafs 8 p.m. NBCSN