2023 NHL Playoff Bracket: Matchups, Seeding & Schedule
The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs are currently underway, with four teams remaining in the quest for hockey’s ultimate prize.
The image above displays the 2023 NHL Playoff bracket and will be updated after each game. The NHL Conference Finals begin Thursday, May 18th and will determine which teams advance to the Stanley Cup Final.
You’ll find much more NHL playoff information on this page below, including NHL playoff matchups and the NHL Playoff schedule. The only thing we don’t have here are NHL playoff odds.
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NHL Playoff Matchups
|Eastern Conference Final Matchup|
|(8) Florida Panthers vs (2) Carolina Hurricanes|
|Western Conference Final Matchup|
|(4) Dallas Stars vs (1) Vegas Golden Knights|
NHL Playoff Matchups as of May 16th, 2023.
There are currently two ongoing NHL Conference Final matchups in the 2023 NHL Playoff bracket. The Carolina Hurricanes are playing the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Final, while the Vegas Golden Knights are battling the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Final. The two winners will play for the Stanley Cup.
The Panthers have been the ultimate underdog team in the playoffs, upsetting No. 1 Boston in Round 1 before taking down No. 4 Toronto in the second round. In the Western Conference meanwhile, the Vegas Golden Knights entered as the top seed and have taken care of No.8 Winnipeg and No. 2 Edmonton thus far.
During the 2022-23 NHL regular season, Dallas won all three meetings with Vegas, although two were decided in the shootout. In the ECF matchup, Carolina won two of three regular-season meetings with Florida this year.
When it comes to the NHL Playoff scoring leaders, look no further than Dallas. Out of players on the remaining teams, Stars’ forward Roope Hintz leads the league in both goals (9) and points (19).
NHL Playoff Schedule
The NHL 2023 Conference Finals will begin on Thursday, May 18th and conclude on Wednesday, May 31st at the latest. You can view the NHL playoff schedule for today (and beyond) below.
Today’s NHL Playoff schedule features no games.
NHL Playoff Picture
The Boston Bruins had a historic regular season and entered the postseason as the top seed in the NHL Playoff standings by a wide margin. Following Boston’s shocking Round 1 exit, the No. 2 Carolina Hurricanes are now the highest-remaining seed. With Colorado and Boston now eliminated, the Canes are the new favorites in the Stanley Cup odds.
In the Western Conference, the Vegas Golden Knights finished the season atop the standings with 111 points. Three of the four top regular-season finishers in the Western Conference advanced to Round 2, with the exception being the reigning champion Avalanche, who were upset by Seattle.
How Is the NHL Playoff Bracket Set Up?
With the NHL playoff structure reverted to its regular format, this is how the seeding will work. There are eight teams from both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference that will make it to the postseason.
The Eastern Conference will have the top three teams from the Metropolitan Division and Atlantic Division, along with two wild card spots. The Western Conference playoff schedule will feature the top three teams from both the Pacific and Central Division, along with the two best teams outside of those six as the wild cards.
The top two seeds in each division in the Eastern Conference and Western Conference will play the Wild Card teams in Round 1. Meanwhile, the other #2 and #3 seeds in each division will play each other in the first round. A team may be ahead of another team in regular-season points but could be in a Wild Card spot because all three teams in their division are ahead of them.
The Bruins leading the way in the NHL Playoff standings, they will take on the bottom feeder in the East. That was the resilient Florida Panthers. In the West, the Golden Knights topped the standings, so they faced the eighth-seeded Jets.
How Many Teams Make the NHL Playoffs?
16 total teams make the Stanley Cup playoffs, eight from the East and eight from the West. Most teams will play a seven-game series against a team from their division.
The Bruins became the first team to clinch a spot in the NHL playoff bracket on March 11th, 2023. The Pittsburgh Penguins were the final team eliminated from the NHL Playoff picture on April 12th, ending their 16-year postseason run.
How Long Do The Stanley Cup Playoffs Last?
The Stanley Cup Playoffs last an average of 57 days. In the 2022 NHL Playoffs, the postseason began on May 2nd, 2022 and finished on June 26th, 2022 (56 days). Based on the average length, the 2023 NHL Playoffs will approximately conclude on June 13, 2023.
How long the Stanley Cup Playoffs last is ultimately dependent on the amount of games played. If every series goes to a Game 7, there would be a maximum number of 105 total games played. On the other hand, if every series is a sweep, there would be only 60 total games played. The average amount of games played in an NHL playoff is 86.
NHL Playoff Bracket FAQs
What dates are the Stanley Cup finals?
The start date of the Stanley Cup finals will depend on the date the matchup is decided (i.e. when the conference championships end). Regardless, the final game of the playoffs will be no later than June 30, 2023.
How many games are in the NHL playoffs?
Each series is a best of seven. The winning team will need to win 16 games, but the champion could play as many as 28 if all four of their series go the full seven games. The maximum number of games in one playoffs (all teams) is 105.
When was the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup?
The last Canadian team to win the Stanley Cup was the Montreal Canadiens in 1993. Canadian teams have made the finals six times since then (Vancouver, 1994; Calgary, 2004; Edmonton, 2006; Ottawa, 2007; Vancouver, 2011; Montreal, 2021).
How is the NHL playoff bracket determined?
The NHL playoff bracket is determined by division position and regular-season record. The top three teams in each division make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs, while the remaining four spots are filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference.
How do upsets affect the NHL playoff bracket?
Upsets are common in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and can shakeup the bracket. The winners of the First Round play one another in the Second Round to determine the four participants in the Conference Finals.
What happens if there is a tie in the NHL playoff bracket?
If there is a tie in the NHL playoff bracket, the seeding is determined by which team has more regulation wins. The second tiebreaker is regulation plus overtime wins.
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