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2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs: Here's the schedule for Penguins vs. Rangers in Round 1

The NHL has released the dates of the 2016 first round playoffs! The Pens and Rangers start from Pittsburgh on Wednesday and then find out why things really get interesting..

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

After the New York Rangers and New York Islanders both tried to lose their way out of playing the Pittsburgh Penguins this weekend, unfortunately for the Rangers they ended up getting the short end of the stick. Here's the first round schedule for the Pens and Rangers:

Date        TIME (ET)        #2 Pittsburgh vs. #3 NY Rangers        Networks
Wednesday, April 13        8 p.m.                NY Rangers at Pittsburgh               USA, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Saturday, April 16        3 p.m.                NY Rangers at Pittsburgh               NBC, CBC, TVA Sports
Tuesday, April 19        7 p.m.                Pittsburgh at NY Rangers        USA, Sportsnet, TVA Sports
Thursday, April 21 TBD                Pittsburgh at NY Rangers        Sportsnet, TVA Sports
*Saturday, April 23 TBD                NY Rangers at Pittsburgh               TBD
*Monday, April 25 TBD                Pittsburgh at NY Rangers        TBD
*Wednesday, April 27 TBD                NY Rangers at Pittsburgh        TBD

Good news if you're Evgeni Malkin ...Or Marc-Andre Fleury .. (Or Ryan McDonagh). Only 2 games in the first six days, a very slow start to the series, which should mean that if this goes deep into the games it could be a very different looking series at the end then it does right now at the beginning.

Also, if you're keeping track at home like we are, the initial 6-8 week prognosis for Malkin puts the front-end of his return at April 22nd. We'll see if or when he can return but it certainly sounds conceivable that we'll see #71 at some point in this series, should his recovery be on the optimistic side of things.