DAY 2 – NBC SPORTS GROUP’S COVERAGE OF 2018 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS CONTINUES TONIGHT WITH FIVE GAME 1 MATCHUPS

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STAMFORD, Conn. – April 12, 2018 – NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs continues tonight with five Game 1 matchups across NBCSN, USA Network and NHL Network, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN with clash of Original Six rivals, when the (2) Boston Bruins host the (3) Toronto Maple Leafs. NBCSN’s doubleheader continues at 9:30 p.m. ET, featuring the defending Western Conference champion (1) Nashville Predators and the (WC2) Colorado Avalanche.

USA Network begins its 2018 Stanley Cup Playoff coverage tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET, as the Metropolitan Division champion (1) Washington Capitals host the (WC1) Columbus Blue Jackets, followed by the (3) San Jose Sharks and (2) and Anaheim Ducks at 10:30 p.m. ET.

NHL Network’s Stanley Cup Playoff coverage begins tonight with an Eastern Conference Game 1 matchup featuring the (1) Tampa Bay Lightning and (WC2) New Jersey Devils at 7 p.m. ET.

Pre-game coverage begins tonight at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with NHL Live.

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“NHL Playoff Pass” on NBC Sports Group Press Box provides a quick daily overview of Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, plus information and highlights. The Pass will be published weekdays to preview that evening’s games. Friday editions will include weekend information.

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THE PASS – THURSDAY, APRIL 12 (All times ET) 

Time Coverage Network Commentators
6 p.m. NHL Live NBCSN Liam McHugh, Eddie Olczyk, Keith Jones
7 p.m. Game 1 – (3) Toronto at (2) Boston NBCSN Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire
7 p.m. Game 1 – (WC2) New Jersey at (1) Tampa Bay NHL Network Rick Peckham, Brian Engblom
7:30 p.m. Game 1 – (WC1) Columbus at (1) Washington USA Network Gord Miller, Joe Micheletti
NHL Live (Intermission Reports) USA Network Kathryn Tappen, Jeremy Roenick, Anson Carter
9:30 p.m. Game 1 – (WC2) Colorado at (1) Nashville NBCSN Kenny Albert, AJ Mleczko, Brian Boucher
10:30 p.m. Game 1 – (3) San Jose at (2) Anaheim USA Network Brendan Burke, Mike Johnson

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” throughout the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

For more information on NBC Sports Group’s overall Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, please click here.


WEDNESDAY OPENING NIGHT OVERNIGHT RATINGS UP 7% VS. LAST YEAR

Following are viewership highlights from last night’s Opening Night coverage on NBCSN and CNBC:

  • Last night’s Opening Night of the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs delivered an overnight rating of 0.38 for three games on NBCSN/CNBC, up 7% vs. last year (not including Digital data);
  • Despite the 7-0 blowout in the Flyers-Penguins game, the Opening Night NBCSN doubleheader (LA-VGK in the second game) combined for a 0.48 overnight rating to rank as the second-best NBCSN Opening Night doubleheader on record;
  • The Kings-Golden Knights game on NBCSN delivered a 0.49 overnight rating to rank as NBC Sports Group’s best late-game Opening Night delivery on record, and up 32% vs. last year’s comparable game;
  • Pittsburgh’s 7-0 blowout over Philadelphia delivered a 0.46 overnight on NBCSN, up 28% vs. last year’s early Opening Night game on the network; Wild-Jets on CNBC posted a 0.22 overnight rating.


TONIGHT – APRIL 12 – NHL LIVE BEGINS AT 6 P.M ET ON NBCSN

NHL Live, hosted by Liam McHugh, Keith Jones and Eddie Olczyk, begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Kathryn Tappen, Jeremy Roenick and Anson Carter will anchor USA Network’s studio coverage throughout the Blue Jackets-Capitals and Sharks-Ducks matchups.

(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 MatthewsMitch Marner, and William Nylander. The Bruins offense is highlighted by Brad MarchandDavid 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.

(WC2) COLUMBUS AT (1) WASHINGTON – 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).


HULU NAMED PRESENTING SPONSOR OF NBC SPORTS’ NHL LIVE THROUGHOUT STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

Hulu, the National Hockey League Players’ Association (NHLPA) and the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced a new partnership in which Hulu becomes an official sponsor of the NHLPA and the NHL for the entirety of the 2018 Stanley Cup® Playoffs and Final.

The comprehensive partnership features a national marketing campaign for Hulu across all League touchpoints including NBC Sports, the NHL’s digital and social channels, as well as camera-visible, in-stadium inventory within all U.S. venues. The collaboration with Hulu also includes integration within all NBC broadcasts with on-air presenting sponsorship of NBC Sports’ NHL Live pre-game show for the Stanley Cup® Playoffs as well as integration within the broadcast opening. Click herefor more information.


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.

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