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Schedule and Television Broadcasts Set for Dallas Stars First-Round Series Against Minnesota Wild

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Late nights will be commonplace as the NHL has decided that Central Division games should regularly start at 8:30 p.m. local time.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Bring your pillows and blankets to the American Airlines Center on Thursday. Thanks to the NHL's scheduling gods, the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild are going to be having a late-night Game 1 and Game 4.

Here's the full schedule, straight from DallasStars.com:

Stars Wild Playoff Schedule

Yes, those are 8:30 p.m. local start times for the Stars (and for the Wild, for that matter). Ugh.

That's quite a late night for a division where all five teams that made the playoffs come from the Central time zone. And as always, there is the risk of national viewers missing the first part of the game if the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals, who have a 7 p.m. eastern game on NBCSN, take a while to finish up.

That will not be an issue for local fans, at least, as Fox Sports Southwest will have all of the first round games in the DFW market.

Here is the rest of the Thursday schedule for Game 1s. All times are eastern:

The Wednesday games also have the same pattern, with the Red Wings and Lightning playing at 7 p.m. EDT on NBCSN, the Rangers and Penguins at 8 p.m. EDT on USA, and the Blackhawks and Blues at 9:30 p.m. EDT on NBCSN.

The Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks won't start their series until Friday, which is a little different as well. The Predators also have an 8:30 p.m. local start for a home game (Game 4) because the NHL schedule makers hate the Central Division and don't want its teams to be happy.