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NHL Playoff Schedule 2011: Red Wings-Coyotes Series To Begin Wednesday

UPDATE: It was just announced on NHL Network that the Red Wings-Coyotes series will begin on Wednesday, not Thursday, as originally reported.

The Detroit Red Wings' first-round opponent in the 2011 NHL playoffs is the Phoenix Coyotes. The rematch from last year's first round is set to begin on Thursday, according to Trevor Thompson of FS Detroit, which will televise the game. Game two of the series will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m. NBC will handle the broadcast for game two.

The full NHL playoff schedule will presumably be released shortly after the game between the Minnesota Wild and Dallas Stars concludes. If the Stars win in regulation or overtime -- they're losing by a score of 4-3 in the third right now -- they will take on the Vancouver Canucks in the NHL playoffs. If the Stars lose or win in a shootout, the Chicago Blackhawks will be the eighth seed in the Western Conference and take on Vancouver.

Games three and four of the Red Wings' series will be at Phoenix, so you can anticipate some late nights during the week of April 18. Last year there were four games at Phoenix during the series with the Red Wings and all were during the week. The first three games started at 10 p.m. and the final one began at 9 p.m., so I'd expect more 10 p.m. starts in the Red Wings' future.