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What the 2021 NHL Playoffs bracket looks like heading into the third round semifinals

The Stanley Cup Playoffs are underway and teams have begun securing their position in the semifinals. We break down how the bracket is looking heading into the third round.

Montreal Canadiens forward Tyler Toffoli (73) and teammate forward Artturi Lehkonen (62) celebrate the series win against the Winnipeg Jets during the overtime period in game four of the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Bell Centre. Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs are fast approaching their conclusion. The second round is underway and teams have begun closing things out and advancing to a semifinal round that is a little different than in years past.

This year’s playoffs have used a unique scheduling plan due to COVID-19. Teams were realigned into four divisions because the league needed a Canada-only division due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions in Canada. The Canadian government has since given the NHL an exemption for the Stanley Cup semifinals and potentially finals for the Canadian team still alive. They and their opponents will be able to travel back-and-forth between the US and Canada, with restrictions in place when they play in Canada.

The top four teams in each division earned a playoff berth, with the first two rounds played entirely within each division. The winners of each series within the division are facing off in the second round. The winner of each of those ensuing four series will advance to the Stanley Cup semifinals. The semifinals will feature re-sorting of seeds based on regular season record.

Here’s a look at how the bracket is shaking out for the semifinals of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Montreal Canadiens closed out a sweep of the Winnipeg Jets and the Tampa Bay Lightning handled the Carolina Hurricanes in five games. Two series remain to be sorted out.

NHL playoff bracket by Stanley Cup Semifinals matchups

No. 3 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 4 New York Islanders

  • Game 1, Islanders @ Lightning: Sunday, June 13, 3 p.m. ET
  • Game 2, Islanders @ Lightning: Tuesday, June 15, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 3, Lightning @ Islanders: Thursday, June 17, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 4, Lightning @ Islanders: Saturday, June 19, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 5 (if necessary), Islanders @ Lightning: Monday, June 21, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 6 (if necessary), Lightning @ Islanders: Wednesday, June 23, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 7 (if necessary), Islanders @ Lightning: Friday, June 25, 8 p.m. ET

No. 4 Montreal Canadiens vs. No. 2 Vegas Golden Knights

  • Game 1, Canadiens @ Golden Knights: Monday, June 14, 9 p.m. ET
  • Game 2, Canadiens @ Golden Knights: Wednesday, June 16, 9 p.m. ET
  • Game 3, Golden Knights @ Canadiens: Friday, June 18, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 4, Golden Knights @ Canadiens: Sunday, June 20, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 5 (if necessary), Canadiens @ Golden Knights: Tuesday, June 22, 9 p.m. ET
  • Game 6 (if necessary), Golden Knights @ Canadiens: Thursday, June 24, 8 p.m. ET
  • Game 7 (if necessary), Canadiens @ Golden Knights: Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m. ET