FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 9th, 2018
NBC SPORTS GROUP’S COVERAGE OF 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BEGINS WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH THREE GAMES
Wednesday Night Doubleheader on NBCSN – (3) Flyers-(2) Penguins at 7 p.m. ET, Followed by (WC1) Kings-(1) Golden Knights at 10 p.m. ET
Wednesday Night on CNBC – (3) Wild-(2) Jets at 7 p.m. ET on CNBC
Pre-Game Coverage Begins with NHL Live at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN
Five Game 1 Matchups on Thursday Night
STAMFORD, Conn. – April 9, 2018 – NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins with three first-round games on Wednesday night, the first night of two months of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey – and “There’s Nothing Like Playoff Hockey.”
Wednesday night’s coverage on NBCSN and CNBC includes a Game 1 doubleheader on NBCSN, beginning at 7 p.m. ET, when the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion (2) Pittsburgh Penguins host their in-state rival (3) Philadelphia Flyers. Coverage continues on NBCSN at 10 p.m. ET, when (WC1) Los Angeles Kings visit the expansion (1) Vegas Golden Knights, which won the Pacific Division in the franchise’s inaugural season this year. CNBC’s Game 1 coverage on Wednesday night begins at 7 p.m. ET, featuring the (2) Winnipeg Jets against the (3) Minnesota Wild.
Coverage begins Wednesday night at 6 p.m. ET with NHL Live on NBCSN. On most nights of the first round, NBC Sports Group will produce two versions of NHL Live from separate studios at its International Broadcast Center located in Stamford, Conn. NHL Live will feature a combination of hosts Liam McHugh, Kathryn Tappen, and Paul Burmeister, and analysts and former players Mike Milbury, Eddie Olczyk, Keith Jones, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter.
NBC Sports Group’s game commentary teams will include play-by-play announcers Mike “Doc” Emrick, Kenny Albert, John Forslund, Gord Miller, Chris Cuthbert, Brendan Burke, and Ken Daniels, analysts Eddie Olczyk, Mike Milbury, and AJ Mleczko, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analysts Pierre McGuire, Brian Boucher, Joe Micheletti, Ray Ferraro, Darren Pang, and Mike Johnson.
In order to televise as many as five games on a given day/night during the first round, NBC Sports Group will present matchups on NBC, NBCSN, and NHL Network, as well as NBCUniversal’s USA Network, the No. 1 cable entertainment network; CNBC, NBCUniversal’s widely-distributed business channel; and Golf Channel, NBC Sports Group’s widely-distributed 24/7 sports network. NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and Connected TVs – will live stream all games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and Golf Channel, all via “TV Everywhere.”
GAME 1 BROADCAST TEAMS
Following are NBC Sports Group’s Game 1 broadcast teams for Wednesday and Thursday.
|Game 1 Matchup||Play-by-Play||Analysts|
|PHI-PIT||John Forslund||Pierre McGuire|
|MIN-WPG||Gord Miller||Darren Pang|
|LAK-VGK||Chris Cuthbert||Ray Ferraro|
|CBJ-WSH||Gord Miller||Joe Micheletti|
|NJD-TBL||Rick Peckham||Brian Engblom|
|TOR-BOS||Mike “Doc” Emrick||Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire|
|COL-NSH||Kenny Albert||AJ Mleczko, Brian Boucher|
|ANA-SJS||Brendan Burke||Mike Johnson|
NBC Sports Group’s first-round broadcast teams will also include Ken Daniels and Eddie Olczyk.
NBCSN, CNBC, USA NETWORK, GOLF CHANNEL, NBCSPORTS.COM, AND THE NBC SPORTS APP TO PROVIDE SIDE-BY-SIDE COVERAGE OF FIRST-ROUND GAMES IN LOCAL MARKETS
For the second consecutive postseason, NBC Sports’ coverage of Stanley Cup Playoff first-round games on NBCUniversal cable networks (NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and Golf Channel), as well as NHL Network, will air side-by-side and will be available for streaming on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app in local markets alongside regional sports network game telecasts. (Local blackouts apply in Las Vegas and Pittsburgh in the first round).
NBC SPORTS GROUP STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF GAME 1 COVERAGE
(3) PHILADELPHIA FLYERS AT (2) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS – GAME 1 AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Flyers and Penguins will square off in The Battle for Pennsylvania for the first time in the postseason since 2012, when the Flyers defeated the Penguins in an electrifying six game series. The two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins dominated the season series against the Flyers, winning all four matchups by a combined score of 20-11. Pittsburgh scored five goals in each game, led by Sidney Crosby, who had nine points (2g/7a) in the season series. Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who clinched his first-career 100-point season on Saturday with a hat trick against the Rangers, had four assists against the Penguins.
(3) MINNESOTA WILD AT (2) WINNIPEG JETS – GAME 1 AT 7 P.M. ET ON CNBC
Winnipeg won three of four meetings against Minnesota this season, however the most-recent matchup took place nearly three months ago (Jan. 13). Since that time, Winnipeg has posted a 26-7-3 record. The Jets’ explosive offense was led by Patrik Laine’s 44 goals, while goalie Connor Hellebuyck set a record for U.S.-born goaltender with 44 wins. Minnesota is making its sixth consecutive playoff appearance, and was led this season by veteran Eric Staal, who paced the Wild in goals (42) and points (76).
(WC1) LOS ANGELES KINGS AT (1) VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS – GAME 1 AT 10 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Vegas Golden Knights were one of the biggest stories in the 2018 regular season, becoming the first-ever expansion team to win its division and make the playoffs in its first season. Vegas’ historic inaugural regular season was highlighted by career performances across the board, including veteran goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who posted lowest goals-against average (2.24) and best save percentage (.927) in his career. The Kings allowed the fewest goals per game (2.46) in the regular season, and were led by Anze Kopitar, who set career highs in goals (35), assists (57), and points (92). The season series was even between the Kings and Golden Knights, with each team winning twice.
(3) TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS AT (2) BOSTON BRUINS – GAME 1 AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
Toronto won three of four games against Boston this season as the Maple Leafs qualified for their second consecutive postseason appearance. The Leafs have a balanced offensive attack, featuring young stars like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander. The Bruins offense is highlighted by Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak, and Patrice Bergeron, who all eclipsed 30 goals. The two Original Six teams last met in the playoffs in the first round in 2013, when the Bruins erased a three-goal third period deficit in Game 7 to stun the Leafs and win 5-4 in overtime to advance.
(WC1) COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS AT (1) WASHINGTON CAPITALS – GAME 1 AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK
Washington won the Metropolitan Division for the third-consecutive season, posting a 12-3-0 run in its final 15 games to close out the year. Alex Ovechkin led the NHL in goals (49) and will hope to propel the Capitals beyond the second round for the first time since their lone Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1998.The Blue Jackets are in search of their first playoff series win in franchise history. Columbus was swept by Detroit in 2009, and lost to Pittsburgh in 2014 (six games) and 2017 (five games). Artemi Panarin, who was acquired from the Blackhawks in the offseason, provided offensive firepower with 82 points (27g/55a) in his first season with Columbus. The Caps won three of four meetings with the Blue Jackets this season.
(WC2) NEW JERSEY DEVILS AT (1) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – GAME 1 AT 7 P.M. ET ON NHL NETWORK
New Jersey won all three matchups against Tampa Bay, the East’s top-seeded team, to sweep the season series this year. The Devils offense went through Taylor Hall, who registered career highs in goals (39), assists (54), and points (93), and had 41 more points than anyone on the roster. Tampa Bay earned home-ice advantage through the Eastern Conference playoffs, led by a 100-point season from Nikita Kucherov. Tampa Bay boasted the most-prolific offense in the league this season, averaging 3.54 goals per game.
(WC2) COLORADO AVALANCHE AT (1) NASHVILLE PREDATORS – GAME 1 AT 9:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN
The Predators followed up their first-ever Stanley Cup Final appearance a season ago by winning the Presidents’ Trophy this year with a league-best 117 points. Nashville closed the season with a 19-4-2 record in its last 25 games. Defenseman P.K. Subban set a career high in goals (16), while goalie Pekka Rinne posted an impressive 42-13-4 record in net. Colorado advanced to the playoffs this year following a league-worst 48 points last season, led by a MVP-worthy season by Nathan MacKinnon, setting career highs in goals (39), assists (58), and points (97). Nashville won all four games against Colorado to sweep the season series, outscoring them 17-8.
(3) SAN JOSE SHARKS AT (2) ANAHEIM DUCKS – GAME 1 AT 10:30 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK
The Ducks have been one of the most consistent teams in the league in recent years, coming off their fifth consecutive season with at least 100 points. Anaheim’s Ryan Getlzaf averaged more than a point per game (61 points in 56 games) this season, and is nearly a point-per-game player for his playoff career (118 points in 121 games). The Sharks offense received a boost from Evander Kane, who was acquired at the trade deadline and contributed nine goals and five assists in the final 17 games of the regular season. Three of four games between the Ducks and Sharks went to a shootout this season, and San Jose earned a point in all four matchups (3-0-1).
MORE FIRST-ROUND COVERAGE
Beyond Wednesday and Thursday’s Game 1 matchups, NBC Sports will present four first-round matchups on NBC this weekend, beginning with regionalized coverage of a pair of Game 2 matchups on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, featuring (WC2) New Jersey-(1) Tampa Bay and (WC2) Colorado-(1) Nashville. Game 2 coverage on NBC continues Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET featuring (3) Toronto-(2) Boston, and continues Sunday at 3 p.m. ET with Game 2 of (3) Philadelphia-(2) Pittsburgh.
In addition, NBC Sports will air a Game 4 doubleheader on Golf Channel on Wednesday, April 18, beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET with (1) Tampa Bay-(WC2) New Jersey, followed by (2) Anaheim-(3) San Jose at 10 p.m. ET.
“Since we began televising every game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2012, we have and continue to receive great cooperation from CNBC and USA Network, who will air several nights of playoff games this year,” said Jon Miller, President, Programming, NBC Sports & NBCSN. “However, because of programming conflicts on Wednesday night, April 18, for the first time we will extend coverage to Golf Channel, our widely distributed 24/7 sports network.”
Following is NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup Playoffs first-round television schedule through Thur., April 19.
|Wed., April 11||Game 1 – (3) Philadelphia at (2) Pittsburgh||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Game 1 – (3) Minnesota at (2) Winnipeg||CNBC||7 p.m.|
|Game 1 – (WC1) Los Angeles at (1) Vegas||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
|Thur., April 12||Game 1 – (WC2) New Jersey at (1) Tampa Bay||NHL Network||7 p.m.|
|Game 1 – (3) Toronto at (2) Boston||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Game 1 – (WC1) Columbus at (1) Washington||USA Network||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 1 – (WC2) Colorado at (1) Nashville||NBCSN||9:30 p.m.|
|Game 1 – (3) San Jose at (2) Anaheim||USA Network||10:30 p.m.|
|Fri., April 13||Game 2 – (3) Philadelphia at (2) Pittsburgh||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Game 2 – (3) Minnesota at (2) Winnipeg||USA Network||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 2 – (WC1) Los Angeles at (1) Vegas||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
|Sat., April 14||Game 2 – (WC2) New Jersey at (1) Tampa Bay||NBC^||3 p.m.|
|Game 2 – (WC2) Colorado at (1) Nashville||NBC^||3 p.m.|
|Game 2 – (3) Toronto at (2) Boston||NBC||8 p.m.|
|Game 2 – (3) San Jose at (2) Anaheim||NBCSN||10:30 p.m.|
|Sun., April 15||Game 3 – (2) Pittsburgh at (3) Philadelphia||NBC||3 p.m.|
|Game 3 – (2) Winnipeg at (3) Minnesota||USA Network||7 p.m.|
|Game 2 – (WC1) Columbus at (1) Washington||NBCSN||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 3 – (1) Vegas at (WC1) Los Angeles||NBCSN||10:30 p.m.|
|Mon., April 16||Game 3 – (2) Boston at (3) Toronto||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Game 3 – (1) Tampa Bay at (WC2) New Jersey||CNBC||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 3 – (1) Nashville at (WC2) Colorado||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
|Game 3 – (2) Anaheim at (3) San Jose||CNBC||10:30 p.m.|
|Tues., April 17||Game 3 – (1) Washington at (WC1) Columbus||NBCSN||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 4 – (2) Winnipeg at (3) Minnesota||CNBC||8 p.m.|
|Game 4 – (1) Vegas at (WC1) Los Angeles||NBCSN||10:30 p.m.|
|Wed., April 18||Game 4 – (2) Pittsburgh at (3) Philadelphia||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Game 4 – (1) Tampa Bay at (WC2) New Jersey||Golf Channel||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 4 – (1) Nashville at (WC2) Colorado||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
|Game 4 – (2) Anaheim at (3) San Jose||Golf Channel||10 p.m.|
|Thur., April 19||Game 4 – (2) Boston at (3) Toronto||NBCSN||7 p.m.|
|Game 4 – (1) Washington at (WC1) Columbus||USA Network||7:30 p.m.|
|Game 5* – (WC1) Los Angeles at (1) Vegas||NBCSN||10 p.m.|
^regionalized coverage (game not airing NBC will air live on CNBC)
COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE
Through the NBC Sports Regional Networks, comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports Regional Networks, available in more than 35 million U.S. households. NBC Sports Regional Networks serve the hometown fans of the Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Boston Bruins and the Washington Capitals, with first-round game coverage, pre- and post-game shows, and extensive on-line coverage via NBC Sports’ team of NHL Insiders.
For teams that advance past the first round, NBC Sports Regional Networks will deliver extensive pre- and post-game coverage as well as breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.
STREAMING COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox, and Chromecast.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–