Six teams, including the No. 12-seeded Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks, have a chance to win their Stanley Cup Qualifiers series on what could be an historic day Friday.
Only once in NHL history have six postseason series ended on the same day, and that was April 12, 1986, the last time the League had best-of-5 series until this season. That could happen again Friday with six Game 4s on the schedule.
The NHL went to the best-of-5 series format this season as part of its Return to Play Plan. The top 12 teams from each conference based on points percentage made the postseason, with the top four teams playing a round-robin to determine seeding for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, The other teams are playing in eight best-of-5 series — four in each conference — with the winners advancing the first round of the playoffs.
The New York Islanders will be the first to attempt to win their series when they play the Florida Panthers (Noon ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, FS-F, MSG+) at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, the hub city for the Eastern Conference.
In the second game Friday, the Arizona Coyotes will try to win their first postseason series since 2012 when they play the Nashville Predators (2:30 p.m. ET; NHLN, NHL.TV, SN360, FS-A, FS-TN) at Rogers Place in Edmonton, the hub city for the Western Conference.
The Canadiens, who have the lowest points percentage (.500) of the 24 teams to make the postseason, will look to move on when they play the Pittsburgh Penguins in Toronto (4 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, TVAS, ATTSN-PT).
The Blackhawks, the lowest seed in the West, will try to win their first postseason series since winning the Stanley Cup in 2015, when they play the Edmonton Oilers in Edmonton (6:45 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, NBCSCH).
The Columbus Blue Jackets, who on Thursday rallied from three goals down to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 in overtime, will attempt to finish their series in Toronto (8 p.m. ET; NHLN, CBC, TVAS, FS-O).
In the final game of the day, the Vancouver Canucks play the Minnesota Wild in Edmonton (10:45 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, FS-N). The Canucks are trying to win their first postseason series since the 2011 Western Conference Final.
The Carolina Hurricanes, who swept the New York Rangers, and Calgary Flames, who defeated the Winnipeg Jets in four games, have already advanced.
The six team to win their Division Semifinal series on the same day in 1986 were the Canadiens, Oilers, Flames, Maple Leafs, Washington Capitals and Hartford Whalers,