The Eastern Conference finals between the Florida Panthers and Carolina Hurricanes will start Thursday night in Raleigh according to the schedule released by the NHL on Monday night.
Carolina, the Metropolitan Division champs, have home ice in this series and will play host to Games 1-2 as well as Games 5 and 7 if necessary.
Games 3 and 4 of the series will be in Sunrise at FLA Live Arena on Monday and Wednesday nights. Florida would also play host to Game 6 if needed.
All of the games in the Eastern Conference finals will be broadcast on TNT. The Western Conference finals will be on ESPN or ABC.
The Panthers and Hurricanes will also have all of their games in the best-of-7 series start at 8 p.m.
This is the first postseason meeting between the Panthers and Hurricanes, two former members of the Southeast Division from 1999-2013.
Both teams are getting an unexpected break during the postseason as by the time Game 1 comes around, the Hurricanes will not have played in a week; Florida will have gone six days since knocking out the Maple Leafs.
“It is nice to get some rest, for sure,” said forward Nick Cousins, whose team had a travel day in between the end of the first round and the start of the second.
“Everyone is playing through a little bit of something this time of year, especially with us, the schedule we have had going 7 with Boston and then going right into Toronto. We have some time to rest and recover and get ready for Carolina. It’s nice to spend some time at home, for sure.”
Carolina advanced to its first ECF since 2019 by knocking off the New York Islanders and New Jersey Devils.
Florida is in its first ECF since 1996 after beating the Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs.
With the series starting on Thursday night in Raleigh and going every other day following that, the ECF will avoid going head-to-head with the NBA conference finals which features the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics.
Like the Panthers, Miami is an eighth-seed working its way through the postseason.
The Heat open in Boston on Wednesday night.
That series will also be broadcast on TNT.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
PANTHERS (WC2) AT CAROLINA HURRICANES (MET1)
- When: Thursday, 8 p.m.
- Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh
- TV: TNT
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 95.6 FM2, WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Series Schedule — Game 1: Thursday at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 2: Saturday at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 3: Monday at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 4: Wednesday, May 24 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 5*: Friday, May 26 at Carolina, 8 (TNT); Game 6*: Sunday, May 28 at Florida, 8 (TNT); Game 7*: Tuesday, May 30 at Carolina, 8 (TNT). *If Necessary
- Season Series: (Carolina won 2-1): Florida 3, Carolina 2 (Nov.9); Carolina 4, Florida 0 (Dec. 30); Carolina 6, Florida 4 (April 13)
- All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 71-46-10, 11 ties
- Postseason History: First Meeting
- How They Got Here — Carolina: d. New York Islanders in 6; d. New Jersey Devils in 5. Florida: d. Boston Bruins in 7; d. Toronto Maple Leafs in 5.