2012 NHL Playoffs: Bracket, Matchups Set For 1st Round

The regular season is officially in the books and the matchups are officially set for the 2012 NHL playoffs. The first round begins on Wednesday, and over the course of the next couple months, one of the best events in sports will take place as 16 teams try to capture the Stanley Cup.

Here's a breakdown of the first-round matchups in each conference:

Western Conference

No. 1 Vancouver Canucks vs. No. 8 Los Angeles Kings

No. 2 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 7 San Jose Sharks

No. 3 Phoenix Coyotes vs. No. 6 Chicago Blackhawks

No. 4 Nashville Predators vs. No. 5 Detroit Red Wings

Eastern Conference

No. 1 New York Rangers vs. No. 8 Ottawa Senators

No. 2 Boston Bruins vs. No. 7 Washington Capitals

No. 3 Florida Panthers vs. No. 6 New Jersey Devils

No. 4 Pittsburgh Penguins vs. No. 5 Philadelphia Flyers

The NHL playoff bracket is reseeded after each round. If the Red Wings win and the top three seeds in the Western Conference advance, for example, Detroit would take on the Canucks in round two.

The 2012 NHL playoff schedule will be announced on Sunday afternoon.

For more on the Detroit Red Wings, check out Winging It In Motown. You can check out more hockey news from around the league at SB Nation's NHL page.

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