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NHL Announces Details for Return to Play Plan

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NHL Announces More Details of Playoff Format for Return to Play Plan

The National Hockey League has announced more details of its playoff format for the 2019-20 Return To Play Plan:

Series Lengths

The Qualifying Round will be composed of best-of-five series. All other rounds (First Round, Second Round, Conference Finals, Stanley Cup Final) will be best-of-seven series.

“Seeding” Format

In each succeeding round of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the highest remaining seed in each conference will face the lowest remaining seed, the second-highest remaining seed in each conference will face the second-lowest remaining seed, etc.

Round Robin Tiebreaker

Ties in the Round Robin – featuring the top four teams from each conference – will be broken by regular season points percentage. The seeding order for these teams then will remain the same throughout the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

“Home” Ice

  • In the Qualifying Round, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2 and 5. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3 and 4.
  • In the First Round, Second Round and Conference Finals, the higher-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The lower-seeded team will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.
  • In the Stanley Cup Final, the team with the higher regular season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 1, 2, 5 and 7. The team with the lower regular season points percentage will be designated as the home team in Games 3, 4 and 6.

This announcement follows approval by the League’s Board of Governors and the National Hockey League Players’ Association. The agreement is subject to the NHL and the NHLPA reaching an overall agreement on resuming play.

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