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Playoff hockey is starting to feel real. The NHL and NHLPA ratified the return-to-play plan, the schedule was released and the hub cities were officially announced earlier this month. The NHL season was paused four months ago because of the coronavirus pandemic and will return by heading straight into the playoffs with a 24-team format.

The NHL has released the schedule and game times for the first few games in the qualifying rounds, which includes round-robin and best-of-five series. The league plans to crown a champion by the first week in October, with the playoffs beginning Aug. 1. 

In the first 10-day span of hockey returning, there is the potential for 52 games to be played. 

Take a look at the qualifying round schedule, as well as info on the exhibition games that will take place before the qualifiers:

August 1
Game 1: Hurricanes vs. Rangers, 12 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSSN
Game 1: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 3 p.m. ET | TV: NBC
Game 1: Panthers vs. Islanders, 4 p.m. ET  | TV: NBCSN
Game 1: Canadiens vs. Penguins, 8 p.m. ET | TV: NBC
Game 1: Jets vs. Flames, 10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN

August 2
Game 1: Coyotes vs. Predators, 2 p.m. ET | TV: USA Network
Round Robin: Bruins vs. Flyers, 3 p.m. ET | TV: NBC
Round Robin: Blues vs. Avalanche, 6:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 1: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 1: Wild vs. Canucks, 10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN

August 3
Game 2: Hurricanes vs. Rangers, 12 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 2: Jets vs. Flames, 2:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Round Robin: Capitals vs. Lightning, 4 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Round Robin: Stars vs. Golden Knights, 6:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 2: Canadiens vs. Penguins, 8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 2: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN

August 4
Game 2: Panthers vs. Islanders, 12 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN 
Game 2: Coyotes vs. Predators, 2:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN 
Game 2: Blue Jackets vs. Maple Leafs, 4 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 3: Jets vs. Flames, 6:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN 
Game 3: Hurricanes vs. Rangers, 8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 2: Wild vs. Canucks, 10:30 p.m. ET | TV: USA Network

August 5
Game 3: Panthers vs. Islanders, 12 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 3: Coyotes vs. Predators, 2:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN 
Round Robin: Lightning vs. Bruins, 4 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Round Robin: Avalanche vs. Stars, 6:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 3: Canadiens vs. Penguins, 8 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN
Game 3: Blackhawks vs. Oilers, 10:30 p.m. ET | TV: NBCSN

In addition, each team will play an exhibition game and there will be a total 12 games that span over three days

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers kick it off with a game at 4 p.m. ET on July 28 and the Vegas Golden Knights and Arizona Coyotes will conclude the exhibition games with a game on July 30 at 10 p.m. ET.

Games will be played behind closed doors and will take place in two hub cities, Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. Toronto will be the Eastern Conference's hub city, and Edmonton will hold the Western Conference. The Conference finals and Stanley Cup Final will be played in Edmonton.

The Oilers and Maple Leafs tweeted out graphics after the news became "officially official."

The NHL's official public relations Twitter account also released a video breaking down how the return will work, what safety protocols have been added and a breakdown of the schedule as we move forward in the return-to-play plan.

In the latest update to the league's return-to-play policy, clubs are not permitted to disclose player injury and/or illness information. Moving forward, the league will not allow clubs to release the identity of a player who has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

"The league will continue to announce, on a regular basis throughout Phase 3 and Phase 4, positive player test results for COVID-19 while not releasing individual player or team identifies," the league said in a statement.