NBC Promotes Pens/Caps Sunday, VERSUS Next Week

NEW YORK – February 3, 2011 – In a rematch of the teams who competed in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins indoors at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. this Sunday at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC. NBCSPORTS.COM will also stream the game live.


On New Year’s Day, the Capitals defeated the Penguins, 3-1, in the much-anticipated outdoor game played at Heinz Field, home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are competing Sunday in Super Bowl XLV. The Capitals-Penguins outdoor classic was the most-watched NHL regular-season game in 36 years with 4.5 million viewers.


Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), 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 Verizon Center in Washington, DC.


EMRICK: “It’s safe to say the Penguins bring out the best in the Capitals, who got their game straight against the Pens during the Winter Classic…The Penguins are an interesting team but not so much for the reasons that the public generally thinks about, which is as a shoot-the-lights-out type of team. This team is built around the strength of the center position but has been able to succeed despite significant injuries to the position. There’s a lot of character on that team. They’ve persevered with a lot of team toughness and by tightening up their defense.”


NBCSPORTS.COM: NBCSPORTS.COM will stream live all “NHL Game of the Week” broadcasts this season, including Penguins-Capitals. It will again offer “Star-cam,” which follows a marquee player in the game. Following the game, NBCSPORTS.COM will present bonus material, including “Star-cam” and “Net-cam” and bonus analysis from NBC Sports commentators. The NHL on NBC also has its own Facebook page. For NHL news and behind-the-scenes videos and photos, click here HTTP://WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/NHLONNBC


2011 WINTER CLASSIC VIEWERSHIP: The 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which featured the Penguins hosting the Capitals on New Year’s Day on NBC in primetime, was the most-watched Winter Classic ever and the most-watched NHL regular-season game in 36 years.


Despite changing the start time from 1 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET due to weather, which saw the game to compete against other NHL games involving eight U.S. markets, 4.5 million viewers watched the Capitals defeat the Penguins, 3-1, at Heinz Field, home of the Steelers, surpassing the 4.4 million who watched the 2009 Winter Classic that saw the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, 6-4, at iconic Wrigley Field as the most-watched NHL regular-season game since Feb. 23, 1975 (5.4 million, Philadelphia-New York Rangers on NBC).


HOCKEY DAY IN AMERICA: The NHL and NBC Sports will celebrate America’s passion for hockey with the inaugural “Hockey Day in America” presented by McDonald’s on Sunday, February 20.


With six hours of coverage (Noon-6 p.m. ET) – which will include four NHL games – hosted from McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Chicago’s Millennium Park, NBC Sports will tell the stories that demonstrate this country’s affinity for hockey – from hockey parents who chauffeur pee wees to practice before sunrise to the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in Minnesota, played by amateurs amidst arctic temperatures, to ‘celebrity’ hockey played by actors and producers in Los Angeles to inner-city hockey in Washington, D.C. that has made a difference in the lives of countless children and young adults.


NBC Sports will broadcast four NHL games featuring eight teams from some of the most avid U.S. hockey markets. The first three games will be broadcast regionally with staggered starts. All viewers will begin the day with the same game before some viewers are taken to their regional game. The staggered starts allow for live look-ins of the other regionalized games during intermissions. The fourth game, Pittsburgh at Chicago, will be broadcast nationally. All games will be streamed live on NBCSPORTS.COM.


The three regional games are Detroit at Minnesota, Philadelphia at New York Rangers, and Washington at Buffalo. Exact start times and commentators for the regional games will be announced at a later date.


“Hockey Day in America” schedule (all times ET):


Noon “Hockey Day in America” coverage begins


12:35 p.m. First regional game begins


12:40 p.m. Second regional game begins


12:45 p.m. Third regional game begins


3:30 p.m. Pittsburgh at Chicago (national)


FLEX SCHEDULING & CONSISTENT 12:30 PM ET START TIME: Again this year, “Game of the Week” broadcasts will consistently start at 12:30 p.m. ET on Sundays (except for “Hockey Day in America” on Sunday, February 20, Noon-6 p.m. ET).


For the fourth straight season, the NHL and NBC Sports will utilize flex scheduling and will be able to select from up to four games on Sunday afternoons. At least 13 days prior to the scheduled games, the NHL and NBC Sports will announce one of those games as the “Game of the Week” to be broadcast during the NBC Sports window. The other games will remain available to the teams’ regional carrier but will not be televised during NBC Sports’ broadcast window.




(All games announced at least 13 days prior)


Sunday, Feb. 13, 12:30 p.m. ET


Boston @ Detroit (flexed)


Sunday, Feb. 20, Noon-6 p.m. ET


“Hockey Day in America”


Washington @ Buffalo (regional)


Detroit @ Minnesota (regional)


Philadelphia @ N.Y. Rangers (regional)


Pittsburgh @ Chicago (national)


Sunday, Mar. 6, 12:30 p.m. ET


Philadelphia @ N.Y. Rangers


Buffalo @ Minnesota


Sunday, Mar. 13, 12:30 p.m. ET


Chicago @ Washington


Los Angeles @ Dallas


Sunday, Mar. 20, 12:30 p.m. ET


N.Y. Rangers @ Pittsburgh


New Jersey @ Columbus


Sunday, Apr. 3, 12:30 p.m. ET


N.Y. Rangers @ Philadelphia


Minnesota @ Detroit


Tampa Bay @ Chicago


Sunday, Apr. 10, 12:30 p.m. ET


Detroit @ Chicago


Boston @ New Jersey


Dallas @ Minnesota


Pittsburgh @ Atlanta


NEXT WEEK ON VERSUS: VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of the NHL and a member of the NBC Sports Group, super-serves hockey fans with 79 regular-season games this season. Following is next week’s game schedule (all times ET):


Monday N.Y. Rangers @ Detroit 7:30 p.m.


Tuesday Buffalo @ Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.


Wednesday Montreal @ Boston 7 p.m.


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