And here they are with their first round match ups! https://www.nhl.com/news/nhl-playoffs-round-1-schedule/c-280159064?tid=287339198 The 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs start Wednesday with five games, including the Presidents' Trophy-winning Tampa Bay Lightning, who tied an NHL record with 62 wins this season, playing the Columbus Blue Jackets at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; USA, SN360, TVAS). The Washington Capitals begin defense of their Stanley Cup title when they play Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN360, TVA Sports). It will be one of three games that night.