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Playoff Buzz: Counting down the hours

Canadiens, Rangers gearing up for first round

NHL.com @NHL

Welcome to the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs Buzz, your daily look at the stories impacting the sprint to the finish line of the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Here are the brackets for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begin with five games on Wednesday. Here is all the playoff news for Tuesday:

 

Calm before the storm

The opening games of the First Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs are less than 24 hours away.

It's an exciting time here at NHL.com as we gear up for the marathon about to begin.

Here is the complete schedule and network coverage for each of the eight first-round series.

Also, don't forget you can begin to share your predictions via the Stanley Cup Playoffs Bracket Challenge. Fans can start creating and submitting brackets containing their predictions for each and every series online at NHL.com/Bracket or via the NHL App. Brackets will be locked at 6:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

 

9:20 a.m.

Henrik Lundqvist, Carey Price ready for epic battle 

NHL.com senior writer Dan Rosen reports New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist is looking forward to rebounding from an inconsistent regular season when he leads the Rangers into Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, TVA Sports, NBCSN).

Lundqvist finished 31-20-4 with an NHL career-high 2.74 goals-against average and career-low .910 save percentage in 57 games for the Rangers this season. 

The Canadiens aren't concerned so much with Rangers forward Chris Kreider, despite the fact he's Public Enemy No. 1 in Montreal. 

If you'll recall, it was Kreider who knocked out goaltender Carey Price from the 2014 Eastern Conference Final after he slipped and fell into him during Game 1 of a series the Rangers won in six games.
 

Montreal fans haven't forgotten, according to LNH.com senior managing editor Arpon Basu.

 

Boston calls in college reinforcement Charlie McAvoy

Boston Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, the No. 14 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, signed a three-year entry-level contract Monday and could be in the lineup for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, SN, TVA Sports 2, NESN).

The move to sign the Boston University freshman was made necessary after injuries to two starting defensemen. Torey Krug sustained a lower-body injury against the Senators on Thursday, and Brandon Carlo sustained an upper-body injury against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. Carlo will not play in Game 1, according to general manager Don Sweeney. Krug, who has not skated since the injury, likely will not play Wednesday and could be out longer. 

NHL.com staff writer Amalie Benjamin reports neither Sweeney nor coach Bruce Cassidy have confirmed McAvoy would make his NHL debut Wednesday.

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