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Qualifier Games for the Stanley Cup Playoffs: Here’s What Bettors Need to Know

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NHL 2019-20 Stanley Cup Playoffs – How We Got Here

The 2019-20 NHL regular season began on October 2, 2019, and was going strong until the COVID-19 pandemic halted play on March 12, 2020. Following months of negotiations, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to cancel the remaining regular-season games and restart with a modified playoff format. To accommodate teams who were fighting for a playoff spot, when the season was paused, the top 12 teams in each conference were awarded a 2020 NHL playoff berth.

A one-time revised playoff format adds eight extra teams and the top four contenders in each conference receive a first-round BYE. The top four teams on both sides will play each other in a round-robin series to determine the top second-round seeds. A qualifying round has been added and the eight lowest seeds in both conferences will battle for a quarterfinal berth. The eight winners of the best-of-five first-round series advance and the eight losing teams are eliminated.

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