The National Hockey League announced on Monday night that the Stanley Cup Playoffs will start this Saturday with Game 1 between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals.

The league had been waiting for some playoff scenarios to play out before announcing a start date for the postseason.

The final games involving American teams wrap up on Thursday night.

The North Division schedule finishes with three games between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames from May 16-19, although both those teams were eliminated when the Montreal Canadiens clinched the final spot Monday night.

The regular season was originally scheduled to close May 8, but various COVID-19 outbreaks, including with the Canucks, forced the schedule to be adjusted. 

The first two rounds of the playoffs will be played by teams exclusively within within the same division. The NHL has applied for an exemption with the Public Health Agency of Canada to allow Canadian and United States-based teams to cross the border without quarantining for the conference finals. 

"We're at the stage where our Canadian clubs are currently working with their local and provincial health agencies to get support for that application, and that's in process," Daly said. "We would hope that we're in a position maybe by the end of the first round of the playoffs to know where we'll be come the third round of the playoffs."