The 2015 NHL Playoffs are into the Stanley Cup Finals and the Chicago Blackhawks will play the Tampa Bay Lightning starting on Wednesday, June 3 from Amalie Arena in Florida at 8 pm ET with coverage from NBC on TV and streaming online from the NBC Sports Network Live Extra website as Jonathan Toews, Tyler Johnson, Ben Bishop, Patrick Kane and Corey Crawford.
The conference finals in both the east and the west went seven games with the Blackhawks winning over the Anaheim Ducks and the Lightning winning over the Rangers. The first game of the series is on Wednesday, June 3 from Tampa Bay and that game will be on NBC along with Game 2 of the series, which will be on Saturday, June 6 from Florida and starts at 7:15 pm ET. Game 2 will be the only early start, with all other matchups coming at 8 pm ET.
The third game of the series will shift things to Chicago at the United Center and that game will be on the NBC Sports Network on Monday, June 8. The Blackhawks are into the finals again and they will host Game 4 of the series on Wednesday, June 10 and that game will also be on NBCSN starting at 8 pm ET. The Blackhawks and the Lightning won Game 7 matchups on the road and that could give confidence for both teams when they play away from home.
Game 5 brings things back to Tampa Bay and that is the first "if necessary" game of the series and it will be on NBC on Saturday, June 13 at 8 pm ET. The next matchup will be on Monday for Game 6 in Chicago if it is needed and the final matchup for Game 7 is scheduled for Wednesday, June 17 in Tampa Bay. The Lightning will play their fourth Original Six team in the playoffs after facing the Red Wings, Canadiens and Rangers in the east playoffs.
The Blackhawks have now made it to the finals for the third time in six seasons and they have the chance for another championship. The Lightning will have home ice after finishing with six more points than Chicago in the regular season and that could end up as a major difference in the series. The NHL likely wanted New York against Chicago, but this matchup has some great players and two teams that are playing high quality hockey.
The Blackhawks won two games after going down 3-2 against the Ducks and the Lightning won Game 7 after the Rangers tied the series in Game 6. The Blackhawks won over the Minnesota Wild in the second and in the first round they won over the Nashville Predators in six games. Brad Richards is facing his old team in the Lightning, which is where he won a Cup in the 2004 championship.