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NBC Sports: Everything You Need to Know About the Stanley Cup Playoffs

NBC Sports Group’s comprehensive coverage of the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins with five 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 features a pair of doubleheaders on NBCSN and USA Network. NBCSN’s Game 1 doubleheader begins at 7:30 p.m. ET between the (3) Pittsburgh Penguins and (2) New York Islanders, followed by the (3) Vegas Golden Knights vs. the (2) San Jose Sharks at 10:30 p.m. ET.

USA Network’s Stanley Cup Playoff coverage begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET with Game 1 between the (WC2) Columbus Blue Jackets and (1) Tampa Bay Lightning and continues at 9:30 p.m. ET with Game 1 between the (WC1) Dallas Stars and (1) Nashville Predators.

NHL Network will present Game 1 coverage of the (3) St. Louis Blues and (2) Winnipeg Jets at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

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, and CNBC, NBCUniversal’s widely-distributed business channel. 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, and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”

Coverage begins Wednesday night at 6 p.m. ET with a special 90-minute 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. USA Network will have studio coverage on Wednesday night throughout its Game 1 doubleheader.

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, Anson Carter and Patrick Sharp.

NBC Sports Group’s game commentary teams will include play-by-play announcers Mike “Doc” Emrick, Kenny Albert, Mike Tirico, John Forslund, Gord Miller, Chris Cuthbert, Brendan Burke, and Alex Faust, and analysts Eddie Olczyk, Mike Milbury, Pierre McGuire, Brian Boucher, Joe Micheletti, AJ Mleczko, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Ray Ferraro, and Mike Johnson.

GAME 1 BROADCAST TEAMS

Following are NBC Sports’ Game 1 broadcast teams for Wednesday and Thursday.

Game 1 Matchup Play-by-Play Analysts
CBJ-TBL John Forslund Pierre McGuire
PIT-NYI Kenny Albert AJ Mleczko, Brian Boucher
STL-WPG Dave Randorf Louie DeBrusk, Scott Oake
DAL-NSH Chris Cuthbert Joe Micheletti
VGK-SJS Alex Faust Mike Johnson
TOR-BOS Mike “Doc” Emrick Mike Milbury, Brian Boucher
CAR-WSH Brendan Burke Pierre McGuire
COL-CGY Gord Miller Ray Ferarro

In addition, Eddie Olczyk, Mike Tirico, and Kendall Coyne Schofield will contribute to NBC Sports’ First Round game coverage. Olczyk will serve as a studio analyst to start the First Round. Tirico will call First Round matchups following his Golf Channel responsibilities at The Masters. Coyne Schofield is currently competing in the IIHF Women’s World Championship in Finland and will join NBC Sports’ First Round coverage following the tournament.

NBCSN, CNBC, USA NETWORK, AND NBCSPORTS.COM, AND THE NBC SPORTS APP TO PROVIDE SIDE-BY-SIDE COVERAGE OF FIRST ROUND GAMES IN LOCAL MARKETS

For the third consecutive postseason, NBC Sports’ coverage of Stanley Cup Playoff First Round games on NBCUniversal cable networks (NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC), 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 PLAYOFFS GAME 1 COVERAGE

WEDNESDAY

(WC2) COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS AT (1) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – GAME 1 AT 7 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK

Tampa Bay won the Presidents’ Trophy with an impressive 62-16-4 record this year (128 points), tying the 1995-96 Detroit Red Wings for the most wins in a single season. Nikita Kucherov won the Art Ross Trophy with a league-leading 128 points, the most by any player in 23 years. The Blue Jackets won seven of their last eight games to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third consecutive season. Columbus is the only team in the NHL that has not won a playoff series. Cam Atkinson led the Blue Jackets with 41 goals this season. The Lightning went 3-0-0 vs. the Blue Jackets this season, outscoring them 17-3.

(3) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AT (2) NEW YORK ISLANDERS – GAME 1 AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

The Islanders and Penguins will clash in the postseason for the first time since 2013, when the Penguins defeated the Islanders in six games. New York allowed the fewest goals in the NHL this season (191) under head coach Barry Trotz, who helmed Washington to its Stanley Cup title last year. Anders Lee led the team with 28 goals. Pittsburgh has reached the postseason for the 13th consecutive season, the longest active streak in the NHL. Sidney Crosby reached the 100-point plateau this season (35g/65a) for the Penguins, who lost to the Capitals in the Second Round of last year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Isles and Penguins split their four games this season, each going 2-1-1.

(3) ST. LOUIS BLUES AT (2) WINNIPEG JETS – GAME 1 AT 8 P.M. ET ON NHL NETWORK

The Blues shook off a slow start to reach the Stanley Cup Playoffs, posting a 38-19-6 record after interim head coach Craig Berube took over in late November. St. Louis’ second-half surge was led by rookie goaltender Jordan Binnington, who made his first NHL start on Jan. 7 and proceeded to go 24-5-1 this season. The Jets return to the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time in franchise history, following their loss to Vegas in last year’s Western Conference Final. Jets captain Blake Wheeler led the team with 91 points. Winnipeg held a 31-15-2 record at the All-Star break, but went just 16-15-3 through the end of the regular season. The Jets went 3-1-0 against the Blues this season.

(WC1) DALLAS STARS AT (1) NASHVILLE PREDATORS – GAME 1 AT 9:30 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK

Dallas reached the playoffs for the third time in the last 11 years due in large part to its defense, allowing the second-fewest goals per-game this season (2.44). Veteran goaltender Ben Bishop led the NHL in save percentage (.934) and went 8-1-0 with four shutouts during the final month of the season. Nashville rode a late surge (8-2-1 in its last 11 games) to win the Central Division on the final day of the regular season. The Predators have reached the playoffs in five consecutive seasons and lost to the Jets in the Second Round in 2018. Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne reached 30 wins for the eighth time in his career. Nashville held a slight 3-2-0 series edge this season.

(3) VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS AT (2) SAN JOSE SHARKS – GAME 1 AT 10:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Vegas and San Jose clash in the playoffs for the second consecutive season, following the Golden Knights’ win over the Sharks in six games in the Second Round last year. Vegas returns to the playoffs in its second season following its magical run to the Stanley Cup Final in 2018. The Golden Knights acquired forward Mark Stone from Ottawa at the trade deadline and went 11-6-2 following his arrival. San Jose has reached the playoffs in 14 of the last 15 seasons, but slowed down the stretch, going 3-8-1 to close the regular season. Brent Burns led all NHL defensemen with a career-high 83 points.

THURSDAY

(3) TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS AT (2) BOSTON BRUINS – GAME 1 AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Toronto and Boston meet in the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Maple Leafs erased a 3-1 series deficit to Boston in the First Round last year, but fell 7-4 to the Bruins in a decisive Game 7 in Boston. John Tavares signed with Toronto in the offseason and scored 47 goals, the most by a Maple Leaf since the 1993-94 season (Dave Andreychuk; 53). Auston Matthews scored 37 goals for Toronto despite missing 14 games due to injury. Boston boasts one of the best top lines in hockey, as Brad Marchand (100 points), Patrice Bergeron (79 points) and David Pastrnak (38 goals in 66 games) posted career seasons. Boston went 3-1-0 vs. Toronto this year.

(WC1) CAROLINA HURRICANES AT (1) WASHINGTON CAPITALS – GAME 1 AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK

Washington is looking to become only the fourth repeat Stanley Cup champion in the last 30 years. Alex Ovechkin led the NHL in goals with 51, the eighth time he has reached the 50-goal plateau. The Caps have reached the Second Round in four consecutive postseasons, the longest active streak in the NHL. Carolina posted an impressive 31-12-2 record after New Year’s Eve, registering the third-most points in that span behind Tampa and St. Louis. Sebastian Aho posted a career-high 30 goals and 83 points. This marks the Hurricanes’ first trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2009. Washington went 4-0-0 against Carolina this season.

(WC2) COLORADO AVALANCHE AT (1) CALGARY FLAMES – GAME 1 AT 10 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

After finishing last in the NHL in 2017, Colorado has rebounded to reach the playoffs for the second consecutive year. The Avs had three 30-goal scorers – Nathan MacKinnon (41), Gabriel Landeskog (34), and Mikko Rantanen (31) – for the first time since 1995-96. Colorado closed out the season with an 8-1-2 record in its last 11 games. Calgary earned the top seed in the Western Conference for the first time since 1990 with a high-octane offense, scoring the second-most goals per game (3.52) in 2018-19. Five Flames reached 70 points, including 25-year-old American Johnny Gaudreau, who led Calgary in goals (36) and points (99). Calgary went 3-0-0 vs. Colorado this season.

MORE FIRST ROUND COVERAGE

Beyond Wednesday and Thursday’s Game 1 matchups, NBC Sports will present three First Round matchups on NBC this weekend, beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. ET with Game 2 of the (WC1) Carolina Hurricanes-(1) Washington Capitals series. Coverage continues Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC with Game 2 of (3) Toronto-(2) Boston, followed by a Sunday matinee at noon ET on NBC featuring Game 3 of (2) N.Y. Islanders-(3) Pittsburgh.

Following is NBC Sports Group’s Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round television schedule through Wed., April 17.

Date Coverage Network Time (ET)
Wed., April 10 Game 1 – (WC2) Columbus at (1) Tampa Bay USA Network 7 p.m.
Game 1 – (3) Pittsburgh at (2) N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Game 1 – (3) St. Louis at (2) Winnipeg NHL Network 8 p.m.
Game 1 – (WC1) Dallas at (1) Nashville USA Network 9:30 p.m.
Game 1 – (3) Vegas at (2) San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thur., April 11 Game 1 – (3) Toronto at (2) Boston NBCSN 7 p.m.
Game 1 – (WC1) Carolina at (1) Washington USA Network 7:30 p.m.
Game 1 – (WC2) Colorado at (1) Calgary NBCSN 10 p.m.
Fri., April 12 Game 2 – (WC2) Columbus at (1) Tampa Bay CNBC 7 p.m.
Game 2 – (3) Pittsburgh at (2) N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Game 2 – (3) St. Louis at (2) Winnipeg CNBC 9:30 p.m.
Game 2 – (3) Vegas at (2) San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sat., April 13 Game 2 – (WC1) Carolina at (1) Washington NBC 3 p.m.
Game 2 – (WC1) Dallas at (1) Nashville CNBC 6 p.m.
Game 2 – (3) Toronto at (2) Boston NBC 8 p.m.
Game 2 – (WC2) Colorado at (1) Calgary NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Sun., April 14 Game 3 – (2) N.Y. Islanders at (3) Pittsburgh NBC 12 p.m.
Game 3 – (1) Tampa Bay at (WC2) Columbus NBCSN 7 p.m.
Game 3 – (2) Winnipeg at (3) St. Louis CNBC 7:30 p.m.
Game 3 – (2) San Jose at (3) Vegas NBCSN 10 p.m.
Mon., April 15 Game 3 – (2) Boston at (3) Toronto NBCSN 7 p.m.
Game 3 – (1) Washington at (WC1) Carolina CNBC 7 p.m.
Game 3 – (1) Nashville at (WC1) Dallas NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Game 3 – (1) Calgary at (WC2) Colorado CNBC 10 p.m.
Tues., April 16 Game 4 – (1) Tampa Bay at (WC2) Columbus CNBC 7 p.m.
Game 4 – (2) N.Y. Islanders at (3) Pittsburgh NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Game 4 – (2) Winnipeg at (3) St. Louis CNBC 9:30 p.m.
Game 4 – (2) San Jose at (3) Vegas NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Wed., April 17 Game 4 – (2) Boston at (3) Toronto NBCSN 7 p.m.
Game 4 – (1) Nashville at (WC1) Dallas USA Network 8 p.m.
Game 4 – (1) Calgary at (WC2) Colorado NBCSN 10 p.m.

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 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 Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, PlayStation and Xbox.

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