May 29, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Members of the Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings shake hands after game seven of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center. The Blackhawks won 2-1 to win the series four games to three. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Stanley Cup Playoffs: Conference Finals


 

It’s finally here – the last matchup before the ultimate battle for the Stanley Cup. And if these matchups are anything like those in the semi-finals, neither series will lack entertainment, intensity and overall hockey greatness.

Here are the schedules for the Stanley Cup Conference finals:

Western Conference

#1 Chicago Blackhawks vs. #5 Los Angeles Kings

This battle will undoubtedly be the most heated series either of these two teams has seen in the playoffs yet. Not only because only one team will advance to the final round, but because both teams ended a season raising the Stanley Cup in the past three years.

Both ended their respective semi-final series in game seven by just a point. The Kings were able to finish off the Sharks in regulation, but the Blackhawks were sent into overtime with the Red Wings after a controversial string of penalties just minutes before the end of regulation negated a goal by Niklas Hjalmersson.

It’ll certainly be a battle getting the puck in the net with both teams boasting such strong goalies in net with Jonathan Quick and Corey Crawford.

So, who’s headed to the finals? The Stanley Cup champions or the champions two years before?

Game 1: Kings at Blackhawks – Saturday June 1, 5:00 p.m. – NBCSN

Game 2: Kings at Blackhawks – Sunday June 2, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN

Game 3: Blackhawks at Kings – Tuesday June 4, 9:00 p.m. – NBCSN

Game 4: Blackhawks at Kings – Thursday, June 6 9:00 p.m. – NBCSN

*Game 5: Kings at Blackhawks – Saturday, June 8 8:00 p.m. – NBC

*Game 6: Blackhawks at Kings – Monday June 10, 9:00 p.m. NBCSN

*Game 7: Kings at Blackhawks – Wednesday June 12, TBD – NBCSN

Eastern Conference

#1 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #4Boston Bruins

In almost complete contrast of how each of the Western Conference teams made it to the conference finals, the Penguins and the Bruins both nearly swept their semi-final competitors, ending both series in five games. And who can forget the Bruins won the Cup just a year before the Kings?

Motivation? Sure, you could say that.

This series is likely to be as intense, if not more so, than the Western Conference battle, simply because neither team gives up the goods. With Sidney Crosby, James Neal, Jarome Iginla, and of course, our beloved Brenden Morrow, the Pens have been pretty much unstoppable since the acquisition of captains in April. But Boston has its own arsenal up its sleeve with Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug, and former Dallas Star Jaromir Jagr.

Either way, you could say Stars fans can somewhat lovingly say they have a dog in the fight.

Game 1: Bruins at Penguins – Saturday June 1, 8:00 p.m. – NBC

Game 2: Bruins at Penguins – Monday June 3, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN

Game 3: Penguins at Bruins – Wednesday June 5, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN

Game 4: Penguins at Bruins – Friday June 7, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN

*Game 5: Bruins at Penguins – Sunday June 9, 8:00 p.m. – NBCSN

*Game 6: Penguins at Bruins – Tuesday June 11, TBD – NBCSN

*Game 7: Bruins at Penguins – Wednesday June 12, TBD – NBCSN

*Denotes games played if necessary.

Tags: Boston Bruins Brenden Morrow Chicago Blackhawks Los Angeles Kings NHL NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Pittsburgh Penguins