NEW YORK – April 27, 2012 – Day 17 — The NBC Sports Group’s exclusive Conference Semifinal coverage of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins tonight in Phoenix with a Western Conference match-up between the #3 Coyotes and the #4 Nashville Predators at 9 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. Coverage begins at 8 p.m. ET with NHL Live.
The Eastern Conference Semifinals begin tomorrow on NBC when the #1 Rangers host the #7 Washington Capitals at 3 p.m. ET. Western Conference action continues tomorrow night in St. Louis when the #2 Blues host the #8 Los Angeles Kings at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. On Sunday, the #6 New Jersey Devils and #4 Philadelphia Flyers begin their series in Philadelphia at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. Sunday night, the Coyotes host the Predators again in Game 2 of their series at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play), Eddie Olczyk (analyst) and Pierre McGuire (‘Inside-the-glass’ analyst) will call both games on NBC this weekend – Capitals at Rangers on Saturday; Devils at Flyers on Sunday. John Forslund (play-by-play) and Joe Micheletti (‘Inside-the-glass’ analyst) will call both Predators-Coyotes games (tonight and Sunday night). Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (‘Inside-the-glass’ analyst) will call Game 1 of Kings-Blues on Saturday night.
Beginning in the second round and continuing through the Stanley Cup Final, all remaining Stanley Cup Playoff games will air exclusively on NBC, NBC Sports Network or CNBC.
ENGBLOM ON BLUES-KINGS: “Goaltending wins championships. This series will prove that again.”
ROENICK ON COYOTES-PREDATORS: “Battle of the two best goalies this year. These teams are eerily similar; teams that win through hard work and defense. This should be a tight series, but an exciting one.”
JONES ON FLYERS: “Good news for the Flyers is they have sat and waited on three other Game 7s in the remaining series. Rest is on the side of the Flyers plus an opportunity to get healthier on their blue line. Nicklas Grossmann has been practicing with the team since missing games against the Penguins in the first round and looks to be available in round two.”
JONES ON CAPITALS: “Great news for Capitals fans whose team knocked off the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins. Washington played a complete team game for all seven games in the first round. They are no longer Alexander Ovechkin’s team. It is Dale Hunter’s team now.”
With all 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games airing nationally for the first time, the NBC Sports Group created a channel finder to help fans find NBC, NBC Sports Network or CNBC in their area by simply entering a zip code.
Click here for the channel finder.
PRE-GAME & POST-GAME COVERAGE
NHL Live, NBC Sports Network’s NHL pre-game show, will air every game night at 6:30 p.m. ET. NHL Post-Game will air a 30-minute program following the conclusion of game coverage every night of the playoffs.
COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE
Comcast SportsNet, the local home for the Capitals, Flyers and Sharks, will closely follow hometown team playoff progress with pre- and postgame coverage, breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.
NBCSports.com’s fast-growing ProHockeyTalk, which has experienced a 140% increase in unique visitors and a 289% in page views compared to last season, will anchor NBC Sports’ online and mobile coverage of the NHL Playoffs.
Featuring writers Jason Brough & Mike Halford, ProHockeyTalk provides unique, informative and entertaining news, commentary and analysis– updated around the clock — on all the stories surrounding the NHL Playoffs. ProHockeyTalk is also an integral part of the popular NBC Sports Talk app. Other NBCSports.com features will include:
· The debut of PHT Extra, a multiple-times-a-week. online-only. video segment, featuring ProHockeyTalk’s Brough and Halford
· Online-only videos featuring NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network hockey commentators previewing upcoming playoff games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day
· Content provided by Comcast SportsNet NHL insiders
· An NHL Playoffs Channel Finder tool that will help fans locate the times and stations for every NHL playoff broadcast
· “Second screen” companion programming on NBCSports.com for games airing on NBC will include live, in-game video highlights; a live chat with ProHockeyTalk’s Brough & Halford; “Star Cams” featuring alternating, video coverage of the best players on each team, and a newly-introduced “Spotlight Cam,” a just-above-ice-level/center ice look at the action
In addition to broadcast, cable, regional and digital platforms, the NBC Sports Group will connect with NHL fans via numerous social media initiatives, including social integration, on-air integration and news:
#StanleyCup Hash Tag: NHL Fans can join the conversation by using the #StanleyCup hash tag across every game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs
Milestone Mania: With the launch of the new Facebook Timeline, fans can explore and answer Stanley Cup Playoffs trivia questions
NHL on NBC Sports Instagram: NHL fans can upload photos to Instagram and use #instahockey. The NHL on NBC Sports Instagram account “Because It’s the Cup” will feature the best fan photos
Live Twitter Chats: Fans will have the opportunity to have live Twitter chats with NHL and NBC Sports personalities and commentators throughout the playoffs
Playoff Polls: Fans can weigh in on a variety of NHL themed polls on Facebook and Twitter that commentators will discuss throughout the broadcasts
#MVPonNBC – During pre-game, post-game and in-game coverage, fans can tweet who they think the #MVPonNBC is. Commentators will discuss the fan favorites and weigh in with their own opinions.
Fans can engange with Twitter (@NHLonNBCSports) and Facebook (facebook.com/NHLonNBCSports) to receive the most up to date tune-in information, scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.
REMAINING STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF COVERAGE
NBC and the NBC Sports Network will team to provide exclusive coverage of the Conference Finals. NBC will broadcast a game each day on the weekend of May 19-20. The remaining games from both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals will be televised exclusively on the NBC Sports Network.
STANLEY CUP FINAL
For the seventh consecutive year, NBC and the NBC Sports Network (formerly VERSUS) will provide exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final. NBC will broadcast Games 1-2 and Games 5-7 (if necessary), with NBC Sports Network televising Games 3-4.
· Last year’s Stanley Cup Final seven-game series, which featured the Boston Bruins defeating the Vancouver Canucks to claim their first championship since 1972, (Games 1, 2, 5, 6, 7 on NBC and Games 3, 4 on VERSUS) averaged 4.6 million viewers and a household rating of 2.7/5, surpassing the 2004 series (3.3 million, 2.2/4 on ABC/ESPN) as the most-watched combined network/cable Stanley Cup involving a Canadian team ever and up 39 percent from that series
· Game 7 of the 2011 Stanley Cup Final, which saw the Boston Bruins defeat the Vancouver Canucks, 4-0, was watched by 8.54 million people on NBC, making it the most-watched NHL game in 38 years, according to The Nielsen Company