NBC Sports Group Unveils Announcing Assignments for 1st Two Days of 2015 NHL Playoffs

After March Madness, the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are the best drama series on television for two months. Starting Wednesday, the tournament to determine the Champions of Professional Hockey will provide lots of drama, controversy and great athletic competition.

In addition to the NHL’s flagship cable network, NBCSN which will air three games between Wednesday and Thurdsay, USA Network which used air the NHL back in the early 1980’s returns to hockey Wednesday with a doubleheader. NHL Network will have one game as well  and CNBC which has been used extensively since NBC Sports Group got rights to the entire NHL postseason, is back with two games on Thursday.

Pierre McGuire will be back to work just about every night of the first two rounds, Kenny Albert who will be the “B” announcer for the playoffs will be back to work double duty calling the New York Rangers on radio and games for the Group.

Of the first eight games played Wednesday and Thursday, NBC will produce six of them. NHL Network will air the CBC/Sportsnet production of Ottawa at Montreal tomorrow from the Bell Centre. Then on Thursday, CNBC picks up the Sportsnet telecast of Winnipeg at Anaheim.

We have the games with the men and women who will be assigned to them.

NBC SPORTS GROUP’S COVERAGE OF 2015 STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS BEGINS WEDNESDAY NIGHT WITH FOUR GAMES

NBCSN’s Game Coverage Begins Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET with Game 1 of (3) Blackhawks-(2) Predators
USA Network Wednesday Game 1 Doubleheader – (3) Islanders-(2) Capitals at 7 p.m. ET, Followed by (3) Flames-(2) Canucks at 10 p.m. ET
NHL Network Presents Game 1 of (4) Senators-(1) Canadiens Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET
NBC Presents Live Coverage of 2015 NHL Draft Lottery Saturday Night at 8 p.m. ET, Prior to Game 2 of Penguins-Rangers
Pre-Game Coverage Begins with NHL Live at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 13, 2015 – NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs begins with four first-round games on Wednesday night, the first night of two months of Stanley Cup Playoff hockey. In order to televise as many as four 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 business channel. This marks the first time USA Network will present NHL Stanley Cup Playoff coverage since 1985. CNBC has provided Stanley Cup Playoff coverage since 2012. First-round games on cable are subject to local blackouts.

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will live stream all games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC, all via “TV Everywhere.”

Coverage begins Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live on NBCSN. On most nights of the first round, NBC Sports Group will produce two versions of NHL Live (one for NBCSN, one for USA Network/CNBC) from separate studios at its International Broadcast Center located in Stamford, Conn. NHL Live will feature a combination of hosts Liam McHughKathryn Tappen, Russ Thaler and Dave Briggs, and analysts and former players Mike MilburyKeith JonesJeremy Roenick and Anson Carter.

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NBC PRESENTS LIVE COVERAGE OF 2015 NHL DRAFT LOTTERY SATURDAY NIGHT AT 8 P.M. ET, PRIOR TO GAME 2 OF PENGUINS-RANGERS

The 2015 NHL Draft Lottery, a weighted system implemented and utilized to determine the order of selection in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft for the 14 Clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs (or the Clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff teams), will take place on Saturday, April 18 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC, prior to Game 2 of the Penguins-Rangers first-round series. Click here for more information.

The teams that earn the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks in this year’s draft will have the opportunity to select from two players widely-regarded as potential future NHL superstars; Canadian Connor McDavid and American Jack Eichel, the latter of which was awarded the prestigious Hobey Baker Award, given to the top NCAA hockey player.

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NBC SPORTS GROUP STANLEY CUP PLAYOFF GAME 1 COVERAGE

WEDNESDAY

(3) NEW YORK ISLANDERS AT (2) WASHINGTON CAPITALS – GAME 1 ON WEDNESDAY AT 7 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK

Wednesday night’s Stanley Cup Playoffs coverage features a doubleheader on USA Network, beginning at 7 p.m. ET when Alex Ovechkin and the (2) Washington Capitals host John Tavares and the (3) New York Islanders. Ovechkin led the league with 53 goals, his sixth season with at least 50 goals, while Tavares finished the season with 86 points, one shy of league-leader Jamie Benn (87). Kenny Albert (play-by-play) and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, D.C.

(4) OTTAWA SENATORS AT (1) MONTREAL CANADIENS – GAME 1 ON WEDNESDAY AT 7 P.M. ET ON NHL NETWORK

NHL Network’s coverage begins Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET, when P.K. Subban and the (1) Atlantic Division-champion Montreal Canadiens host Andrew Hammond and the (4) Ottawa Senators. Ottawa finished the season on a 23-4-4 run, led by Hammond, who has posted a remarkable 20-1-2 record since joining the Senators in the second half of the season, living up to his nickname, “The Hamburglar.” The two teams met in the first round in 2012-13, when Ottawa defeated Montreal in five games. Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Glenn Healy and David Amber will have the call from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Que.

(3) CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS AT (2) NASHVILLE PREDATORS – GAME 1 ON WEDNESDAY AT 8:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

NBCSN drops the puck on its Stanley Cup Playoff game coverage Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. ET, when Jonathan Toews and the (3) Chicago Blackhawks visit Shea Weber and the (2) Nashville Predators. Chicago won three of four matchups against Nashville this season, including a 5-4 shootout victory in their most recent matchup on Dec. 29. Gord Miller (play-by-play) and Joe Micheletti (Inside-The-Glass analyst) will call the action from Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville, Tenn.

(3) CALGARY FLAMES AT (2) VANCOUVER CANUCKS – GAME 1 ON WEDNESDAY AT 10 P.M. ET ON USA NETWORK

USA Network’s coverage continues Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET, following Islanders-Capitals, as Johnny Gaudreau and the (3) Calgary Flames visit Daniel Sedin and the (2) Vancouver Canucks in Game 1 of their first-round series. The Flames return to the postseason for the first time since the 2008-09 campaign, while the Canucks return to the postseason led by Daniel and Henrik Sedin, who lead the club with 76 and 73 points, respectively. Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play) and Bret Hedican (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will call the action from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.

THURSDAY

(4) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS AT (1) NEW YORK RANGERS – GAME 1 ON THURSDAY AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Sidney Crosby and the (4) Pittsburgh Penguins renew their rivalry with Henrik Lundqvist and the (1) New York Rangers with a first-round matchup, beginning with Game 1 on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The Rangers earned their first Presidents’ Trophy since 1994 with a league-leading 113 points, a single-season franchise record. Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 2-0 in the final game of the regular season to clinch the second Wild-Card spot. Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, and Inside-the-Glass analyst and Emmy Award-winner Pierre McGuire will have the call from Madison Square Garden in New York.

(3) DETROIT RED WINGS AT (2) TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING – GAME 1 ON THURSDAY AT 7:30 P.M. ET ON CNBC

CNBC’s playoff coverage begins Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. ET, when Steven Stamkos and the (2) Tampa Bay Lightning host Henrik Zetterberg and the (3) Detroit Red Wings. The Lightning have won three of four meetings between the two clubs, but Detroit earned a 4-0 win in their most recent meeting on March 28. This marks the first time the Red Wings and Lightning will meet in the postseason. John Forslund (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.

(4) MINNESOTA WILD AT (1) ST. LOUIS BLUES – GAME 1 ON THURSDAY AT 9:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN

Zach Parise and the (4) Minnesota Wild begin their first-round series against T.J. Oshie and the (1) St. Louis Blues on Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. The two teams met on the final day of the regular season in St. Louis, with the Blues earning a 4-2 victory, snapping the Wild’s franchise-record 12-game road winning streak. Minnesota’s second half push was led by goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who recorded a 27-9-2 record after joining the team in January. The Blues notched their second division title in the last four seasons, and tied Anaheim for the most points in the Western Conference (109). Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will call the action from Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

(4) WINNIPEG JETS AT (1) ANAHEIM DUCKS – GAME 1 ON THURSDAY AT 10:30 P.M. ET ON CNBC

Game 1 coverage concludes Thursday on CNBC at 10:30 p.m. ET, as Ryan Getzlaf and the (1) Anaheim Ducks welcome Dustin Byfuglien and the (4) Winnipeg Jets in Game 1 of their first-round series. Anaheim earned its third straight Pacific Division title this season, while the Jets earned the final Wild Card spot to mark their first postseason appearance since relocating from Atlanta in 2011. Dave Randorf, Garry Galley and Cassie Campbell-Pascall will provide live game commentary from Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.

And there you have it.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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