NEW YORK – Mar. 31, 2010 – The Detroit Red Wings, who have won nine of their last 10 games, visit Philadelphia to take on the Flyers in the only meeting between the two teams this season on Sunday, April 4 at 12:30 pm ET on NBC Sports.
Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), who is nominated for a 2010 Sports Emmy Award, Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (inside-the-glass reporter) call the action. McGuire will pull double duty, hosting NBC’s studio show alongside analyst Mike Milbury on site at Wachovia Center.
Playoff positions will again be on the line Sunday. The Red Wings have climbed to the sixth spot in the Western Conference due in part to a current six-game winning streak and 9-1 record in their last 10 games. A crucial two points are on the line for the Flyers, who are currently tied for the sixth position in the Eastern Conference with Montreal and Boston.
OLCZYK ON DETROIT: “There hasn’t been a team to come out of the Olympics cleaner and more thorough than the Red Wings. Their recent performance is not a surprise now that they are healthy. On the backend, their one-to-four is as good as any team in the league. Everything starts with those guys.”
OLCZYK ON PHILADELPHIA: “Goaltending injuries have made it very difficult for the Flyers to have any breathing room. It really tests your depth and ability to deal with adversity. It’s desperation for sure. I expect this game to be played with a playoff fever pitch.”
CLOSE GAMES: All eight of NBC Sports’ NHL games this season have been decided by one goal, and five needed extra time to determine a winner. The Boston Bruins defeated the New York Rangers, 2-1, on Sunday, March 21 on the strength of an impressive performance by goalie Tuukka Rask.
On Sunday, March 14, the Washington Capitals defeated the host Chicago Blackhawks, 4-3, in overtime. Washington was trailing 3-0 in the final period before scoring three unanswered goals and ultimately winning the game with a fourth in OT. The Red Wings defeated the Blackhawks in Chicago, 5-4, on March 7 on the strength of five second-period goals. On Feb. 7, the Capitals defeated the Penguins, 5-4, in overtime on Mike Knuble’s goal. In the game, Sidney Crosby scored twice for Pittsburgh and Alexander Ovechkin registered a hat trick for Washington.
The week prior, on Jan. 31, the Penguins were on the winning end when they defeated the Red Wings in a Stanley Cup Final rematch, 2-1, via an overtime shootout. On Jan. 24, the Penguins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, on a power-play goal by Matt Cooke with 1:47 remaining. In NBC’s inaugural “Game of the Week” on Jan. 17, the Chicago Blackhawks needed a shootout to beat the Red Wings, 4-3, in Detroit.
The Boston Bruins needed overtime to defeat the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day in the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSports.com will again offer “Star-cam” this season, tracking a player from both teams throughout each of their shifts. Following the game, NBCSports.com will present bonus material, including “Star-cam” and “Net-cam” and bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators.
FLEX SCHEDULING: The Sunday, April 11, Boston Bruins at Washington Capitals game has been flexed as NBC Sports’ “Game of the Week” and will be played at Verizon Center at Noon ET.
Capitals superstar Alexander Ovechkin, already the two-time defending Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner, is again challenging for the League lead in goals. Ovechkin (46 goals) currently sits one behind Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins (47) and one ahead of Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning (45) in a race that promises to go down to the final day of the season.
Leading the defense looking to stop Ovechkin and his Capitals teammates will be Bruins captain Zdeno Chara. The tallest player in the League at 6′ 9″, Chara won the Norris Trophy as the League’s top defenseman last season over Washington’s Mike Green, who finished second.