Three more qualifying series begin Sunday, along with a pair of round-robin games, one from each conference.
The action starts with the No. 6 seed Predators facing the No. 11 seed Coyotes from Rogers Place in Edmonton. One of the biggest question marks for this games involves the health of Arizona forward — and former Blackhawks draft pick — Nick Schmaltz, who left Thursday’s exhibition game with an apparent upper-body injury.
The Flyers and Bruins open the Eastern Conference round-robin schedule with their first game, while a pair of Central Division foes will meet later that day when the Blues and Avalanche face off for the first Western Conference round-robin game.
Qualifying round action resumes in the evening, with the No. 8 Maple Leafs opening their series with the No. 9 Blue Jackets. Just over one week ago, Columbus coach John Tortorella declared several of his players were “not ready right now” after a few unsatisfactory practices. Meanwhile, Toronto appears ready to debut Nicholas Robertson, its second-round pick (53rd overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft.
For the hockey night owls, the No. 7 Canucks and No. 10 Wild open their series in the final game of the night. Minnesota ended its regular season by winning eight of 12, while the Canucks boast a well-rounded offensive attack with five forwards who scored 45 points, and that doesn’t include Calder Trophy nominee Quinn Hughes, a rookie defenseman.
Sunday, Aug. 2
Coyotes vs. Predators, Game 1, 1 p.m. | USA, NHL.TV, SN360, FS-TN, FS-A
*Flyers vs. Bruins, 2 p.m. | NBC, SN, TVAS
*Blues vs. Avalanche, 5:30 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN360, TVAS2, ALT, FS-MW
Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, Game 1, 7 p.m. | NHLN, SN, TVAS, FS-O
Wild vs. Canucks, Game 1, 9:30 p.m. | NBCSN, NHL.TV, SN, FS-N, FS-WI