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NHL playoffs 2016: Bracket, schedule, scores and more

Editor's note: The 2017 NHL playoff schedule and results are over here.

The 2016 Stanley Cup Final lasted six games, many of them close, and the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the San Jose Sharks for their fourth championship in franchise history. The Cup Final was the culmination of an exciting four postseason rounds.

The Sharks were in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in their franchise history, after eliminating the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference Final in six games. The Sharks took out the 2012 and 2014 champion Kings, while the Blues eliminated the 2010, 2013 and 2015 champion Blackhawks.

In the Eastern Conference, the Pittsburgh Penguins the league's hottest team, outlasted the defending conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning in seven games to return to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2009.

Plenty of intrigue in the playoffs this year. We're having fun.

The format

The top three teams in each division — Atlantic, Metropolitan, Central, Pacific — earned automatic postseason berths, while the final four spots were given to two wild card teams in each conference based on point totals. The top seeds in both conferences play against the lowest wild card teams in the first round, and the other division winners face off against the other wild card qualifiers. Otherwise, the matchups aren't based on conference standings — rather, the second and third seeds in each division square off. From there, whoever emerges from the series involving division champions take on the winners of the series involving the second and third seeds in what is known as the conference semifinals. The winners advance to the Conference Finals, and then the Stanley Cup Final.

Each series is best-of-seven, played in a 2-2-1-1-1 format.

The teams

Eastern Conference

Atlantic Division
1. Florida Panthers - 103 points
2. Tampa Bay Lightning - 97 points
3. Detroit Red Wings - 93 points

Metropolitan Division
1. Washington Capitals - 120 points
2. Pittsburgh Penguins - 104 points
3. New York Rangers - 101 points

Wild Cards
1. New York Islanders - 100 points
2. Philadelphia Flyers - 96 points

Western Conference

Central Division
1. Dallas Stars - 109 points
2. St. Louis Blues - 107 points
3. Chicago Blackhawks - 103 points

Pacific Division
1. Anaheim Ducks - 103 points
2. Los Angeles Kings - 102 points
3. San Jose Sharks - 98 points

Wild Cards
1. Nashville Predators - 96 points
2. Minnesota Wild - 87 points

Bracket

(Source)

Schedule and results

All times Eastern
*if necessary

First round

Wednesday, April 13
Eastern Conference quarterfinals 
Game 1: Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Detroit Red Wings 2 (recap)
Game 1: Pittsburgh Penguins 5, NY Rangers 2 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 1: St. Louis Blues 1, Chicago Blackhawks 0 (recap)

Thursday, April 14
Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Game 1: Washington Capitals 2, Philadelphia Flyers 0 (recap)
Game 1: NY Islanders 5, Florida Panthers 4 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 1: Dallas Stars 4, Minnesota Wild 0 (recap)
Game 1: San Jose Sharks 4, Los Angeles Kings 3 (recap)

Friday, April 15
Eastern Conference quarterfinals 
Game 2: Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Detroit Red Wings 2 (recap)
Game 2: Florida Panthers 3, New York Islanders 1 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 2: Chicago Blackhawks 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (recap)
Game 1: Nashville Predators 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (recap)

Saturday, April 16
Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Game 2: NY Rangers 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (recap)
Game 2: Washington Capitals 4, Philadelphia Flyers 1 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 2: Dallas Stars 2, Minnesota Wild 1 (recap)
Game 2: San Jose Sharks 2, Los Angeles Kings 1 (recap)

Sunday, April 17
Eastern Conference quarterfinals 
Game 3: Detroit Red Wings 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 0 (recap)
Game 3: NY Islanders 4, Florida Panthers 3 OT (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 3: St. Louis Blues 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (recap)
Game 2: Nashville Predators 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (recap)

Monday, April 18
Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Game 3: Washington Capitals 6, Philadelphia Flyers 1 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 3: Minnesota Wild 5, Dallas Stars 3 (recap)
Game 3: Los Angeles Kings 2, San Jose Sharks 1 OT (recap)

Tuesday, April 19
Eastern Conference quarterfinals 
Game 4: Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Detroit Red Wings 2 (recap)
Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, NY Rangers 1 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 4: St. Louis Blues 4, Chicago Blackhawks 3 (recap)
Game 3: Anaheim Ducks 3, Nashville Predators 0 (recap)

Wednesday, April 20
Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Game 4: Philadelphia Flyers 2, Washington Capitals 1 (recap)
Game 4: Florida Panthers 2, NY Islanders 1 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 4: Dallas Stars 3, Minnesota Wild 2 (recap)
Game 4: San Jose Sharks 3, Los Angeles Kings 2 (recap)

Thursday, April 21
Eastern Conference quarterfinals 
Game 4: Pittsburgh Penguins 5, NY Rangers 0 (recap)
Game 5: Tampa Bay Lightning 1, Detroit Red Wings 0 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 4: Anaheim Ducks 4, Nashville Predators 1 (recap)
Game 5: Chicago Blackhawks 4, St. Louis Blues 3, 2OT (recap)

Friday, April 22
Eastern Conference quarterfinals
Game 5: Philadelphia Flyers 2, Washington Capitals 0 (recap)
Game 5: NY Islanders 2, Florida Panthers 1, 2OT (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 5: Minnesota Wild 5, Dallas Stars 4, OT (recap)
Game 5: San Jose Sharks 6, Los Angeles Kings 3 (recap)

Saturday, April 23
Eastern Conference quarterfinals 
Game 5: Pittsburgh Penguins 6, NY Rangers 3 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 6: Chicago Blackhawks 6, St. Louis Blues 3 (recap)
Game 5: Anaheim Ducks 5, Nashville Predators 2 (recap)

Sunday, April 24
Eastern Conference quarterfinals

Game 6: Washington Capitals 1, Philadelphia Flyers 0 (recap)
Game 6: NY Islanders 2, Florida Panthers 1, 2OT (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals

Game 6: Dallas Stars 5, Minnesota Wild 4 (recap)

Monday, April 25
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 7: St. Louis Blues 3, Chicago Blackhawks 2 (recap)
Game 6: Nashville Predators 3, Anaheim Ducks 1 (recap)

Second round

Wednesday, April 27
Eastern Conference semifinals

Game 1: NY Islanders 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 3 (recap)
Western Conference quarterfinals
Game 7: Nashville Predators 2, Anaheim Ducks 1 (recap)

Thursday, April 28
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 1: Washington Capitals 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3, OT (recap)

Friday, April 29
Western Conference semifinals
Game 1: Dallas Stars 2, St. Louis Blues 1 (recap)
Game 1: San Jose Sharks 5, Nashville Predators 2 (recap)

Saturday, April 30
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 2: Tampa Bay Lightning 4, NY Islanders 1 (recap)
Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Washington Capitals 1 (recap)

Sunday, May 1
Western Conference semifinals
Game 2: St. Louis Blues 4, Dallas Stars 3, OT (recap)
Game 2: San Jose Sharks 3, Nashville Predators 2 (recap)

Monday, May 2
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Washington Capitals 2 (recap)

Tuesday, May 3
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 3: Tampa Bay Lightning 5, NY Islanders 4, OT (recap)
Western Conference semifinals
Game 3: Nashville Predators 4, San Jose Sharks 1 (recap)

Game 3: St. Louis Blues 6, Dallas Stars 1 (recap)

Wednesday, May 4
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 4: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Washington Capitals 2, OT (recap)

Thursday, May 5
Western Conference semifinals
Game 4: Dallas Stars 3, St. Louis Blues 2, OT (recap)
Game 4: Nashville Predators 4, San Jose Sharks 3, 3 OT (recap)

Friday, May 6
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 4: Tampa Bay Lightning 2, NY Islanders 1, OT (recap)

Saturday, May 7
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 5: Washington Capitals 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 2 (recap)
Western Conference semifinals
Game 5: St. Louis Blues 4, Dallas Stars 1 (recap)
Game 5: San Jose Sharks 5, Nashville Predators 1 (recap)

Sunday, May 8
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 5: Tampa Bay Lightning 4, NY Islanders 0 (recap)

Monday, May 9
Western Conference semifinals
Game 6: Dallas Stars 3, St. Louis Blues 2 (recap)
Game 6: Nashville Predators 4, San Jose Sharks 3, OT (recap)

Tuesday, May 10
Eastern Conference semifinals
Game 6: Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Washington Capitals 3, OT (recap)

Wednesday, May 11
Western Conference semifinals
Game 7: St. Louis Blues 6, Dallas Stars 1 (recap)

Thursday, May 12
Western Conference semifinals
Game 7: San Jose Sharks 5, Nashville Predators 0 (recap)

Conference finals

Friday, May 13
Eastern Conference Final
Game 1: Tampa Bay Lightning 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (recap)

Sunday, May 15
Western Conference Final
Game 1: St. Louis Blues 2, San Jose Sharks 1 (recap)

Monday, May 16
Eastern Conference Final
Game 2: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2, OT (recap)

Tuesday, May 17
Western Conference Final
Game 2: San Jose Sharks 4, St. Louis Blues 0 (recap)

Wednesday, May 18
Eastern Conference Final
Game 3: Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (recap)

Thursday, May 19
Western Conference Final
Game 3: San Jose Sharks 3, St. Louis Blues 0 (recap)

Friday, May 20
Eastern Conference Final
Game 4: Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (recap)

Saturday, May 21
Western Conference Final
Game 4: St. Louis Blues 6, San Jose Sharks 3 (recap)

Sunday, May 22
Eastern Conference Final
Game 5: Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3, OT (recap)

Monday, May 23
Western Conference Final
Game 5: San Jose Sharks 6, St. Louis Blues 3 (recap)

Tuesday, May 24
Eastern Conference Final
Game 6: Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (recap)

Wednesday, May 25
Western Conference Final
Game 6: San Jose Sharks 5, St. Louis Blues 2 (recap)

Thursday, May 26
Eastern Conference Final
Game 7: Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Tampa Bay Lightning 1 (recap)

Stanley Cup Final

Monday, May 30

Game 1: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, San Jose Sharks 2 (recap)

Wednesday, June 1

Game 2: Pittsburgh 2, San Jose 1, OT (recap)

Saturday, June 4

Game 3: San Jose 3, Pittsburgh 2, OT (recap)

Monday, June 6

Game 4: Pittsburgh 3, San Jose 1 (recap)

Thursday, June 9

Game 5: San Jose 4, Pittsburgh 2 (recap)

Sunday, June 12

Game 6: Pittsburgh 3, San Jose 1 (recap)

* * *

Nick Bonino's amazing goal to win Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final