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Blackhawks open playoffs Wednesday night in St. Louis

Captains David Backes and Jonathan Toews will lead the Blues and Blackhawks in the first round. (AP Photo)

The Blackhawks will open their Stanley Cup defense with a late-night affair Wednesday in St. Louis.

With the conclusion of Sunday’s two games, the NHL released the playoff schedule, and the Hawks and Blues will waste no time in rekindling their rivalry. The Hawks play at St. Louis on Wednesday and Friday night, then return home for a Sunday matinee.

And as has been the case in recent seasons, the Central Division teams will be relegated to some 8:45 p.m. local time starts. Wednesday’s Game 1 begins with an 8:40 p.m. puck drop.

Here’s the full schedule:
Game 1: Wednesday, April 13 at St. Louis 8:30 p.m. CSN, NBCSN
Game 2: Friday, April 15 at St. Louis 7 p.m. CSN, NBCSN
Game 3: Sunday, April 17 2 p.m. at Chicago NBC
Game 4: Tuesday, April 19 at Chicago CSN, NBCSN
Game 5: Thursday, April 21 TBD at St. Louis TBD
Game 6: Saturday, April 23 TBD at Chicago TBD
Game 7: Monday, April 25 TBD at St. Louis TBD