By Ryan Berenz (Twitter: @ChannelGuideRAB)
The NHL playoffs get another step closer to a team hoisting the Stanley Cup, as the second-round conference semifinals begin Thursday, April 28 at 9pm ET with the Nashville Predators at the Vancouver Canucks. Versus and NBC will air the games. Schedule below, followed by a full press release from the NBC Sports Group:
NHL CONFERENCE SEMIFINALS TV SCHEDULE
(All times Eastern)
#1 Washington Capitals vs. #5 Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay wins series 4-0
#2 Philadelphia Flyers vs. #3 Boston Bruins
Boston wins series 4-0
#1 Vancouver Canucks vs. #5 Nashville Predators
Vancouver wins series 4-2
#2 San Jose Sharks vs. #3 Detroit Red Wings
Game 1 — Friday, April 29 Detroit at San Jose, 10pm VERSUS
Game 2 — Sunday, May 1 Detroit at San Jose, 3pm NBC
Game 3 — Wednesday, May 4 San Jose at Detroit, 8pm VERSUS (JIP)
Game 4 — Friday, May 6 San Jose at Detroit, 7pm VERSUS
Game 5 — Sunday, May 8 Detroit at San Jose, 8pm VERSUS
Game 6 — Tuesday, May 10 San Jose at Detroit, 8pm VERSUS
Game 7 — Thursday, May 12 Detroit at San Jose, 9pm VERSUS
NBC SPORTS GROUP TO AIR SEVEN GAMES OVER FOUR DAYS TO KICK-OFF SECOND ROUND OF NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
Coverage Begins Tonight on VERSUS with Exclusive Telecast of Game 1 Between Nashville and Vancouver at 9 p.m. ET; NBC Coverage Begins Saturday with Opening Game of Boston – Philadelphia Series at 3 p.m. ET
“Two teams that have overcome their demons and have a taste of success have become more dangerous than ever.” – Brian Engblom on Vancouver-Nashville Series
NEW YORK (April 28, 2011)– The NBC Sports Group continues its wall-to-wall coverage of the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs with seven Conference Semifinal games over the next four days on NBC and VERSUS. The hockey action begins tonight on VERSUS with an exclusive telecast of Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinal series between the Nashville Predators and the Vancouver Canucks at 9 p.m. ET. Semifinal coverage continues on VERSUS tomorrow night with a double-header featuring Game 1 of the Tampa Bay-Washington series at 7 p.m. ET, the network’s first exclusive game of the playoffs, followed by Game 1 of the Detroit-San Jose series at 10 p.m. ET. Additionally, NBC and VERSUS will air four exclusive games over the weekend, including Game 1 of Boston-Philadelphia this Saturday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.
During the Conference Semifinal round, VERSUS will air at least two exclusive games per series in addition to non-exclusive games. The non-exclusive telecasts will be subject to local blackouts, but can be found on their local regional networks, including Comcast SportsNet California, Mid-Atlantic and Philadelphia which will televise all of their teams’ games in the Semifinal round, except for games chosen to air exclusively on VERSUS or NBC. NBC will air two exclusive games per weekend throughout the Semifinals. VERSUS will share exclusive coverage with NBC of both Conference Finals series. Coverage will culminate with exclusive coverage of the Stanley Cup Final in primetime in June with NBC broadcasting Games 1-2 and 5-7 (if necessary), and VERSUS presenting exclusive coverage of Games 3 and 4.
NBC SPORTS: Coverage starts this Saturday with Eastern Conference action between the Bruins and the Flyers in Game 1 of their series at 3 p.m. ET. On Sunday, NBC Sports presents Game 2 of the Western Conference series between the Detroit Red Wings and the San Jose Sharks at 3 p.m. ET.
Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick (play-by-play) and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) anchor NBC Sports’ coverage on Saturday with Pierre McGuire serving as inside-the-glass analyst. NBC’s studio show will feature host Liam McHugh and analyst Mike Milbury. Sunday’s coverage will be helmed by Dave Strader (play-by-play) with Joe Micheletti (analyst) and Darren Pang calling the action from inside-the-glass. McHugh and Milbury will be joined by McGuire in the studio for Sunday’s telecast.
VERSUS: Playoff coverage begins tonight with exclusive coverage of Game 1 of the Nashville Predators-Vancouver Canucks series. VERSUS’ Friday night telecast includes a double-header with exclusive coverage of Game 1 of the Tampa Bay Lightning against the Washington Capitals at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the San Jose Sharks hosting the Detroit Red Wings at 10 p.m. ET.
VERSUS closes out the week with two exclusive games over the weekend beginning with Game 2 of the Nashville-Vancouver series on Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET and Game 2 between Tampa Bay-Washington on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. (See below for complete Semifinal schedule).
DIGITAL: NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com have combined forces to create a single, robust destination for hockey fans during the NHL Playoffs. The NBC Sports Group consolidated NHL content from both the NBCSports.com and VERSUS.com’s hockey sections onto the rapidly-growing NBCSports.com site. One of the key content areas is ProHockeyTalk, one of NBCSports.com’s popular “Sports Talk” platforms that also include ProFootballTalk, CollegeFootballTalk, HardBallTalk, ProBasketballTalk and ProGolfTalk.
During the playoffs on NBCSports.com, fans can follow all the NHL Playoffs action with live streaming of NBC games, NHL videos, cross-platform promotions, social media and more. Some of the features on NBCSports.com include:
- Online-only videos featuring VERSUS and NBC Sports hockey commentators previewing upcoming playoff games and wrapping-up all of the NHL action that day.
- “Star-Cam,” which follows marquee players in NBC games, and “Net-Cam,” which provides a unique perspective from behind the goalie.
- ProHockeyTalk, which recently had its most-trafficked month ever, will update NHL Playoff news around the clock.
SOCIAL MEDIA: Fans can also keep up with the NHL playoffs through a variety of NBC Sports and VERSUS social media platforms throughout the postseason. Content will include:
- Behind the Scenes: Through the joint “NHL on NBC and VERSUS” Facebook page and @NHLonNBC_VS on Twitter, fans receive exclusive behind-the-scenes photos, interviews and video.
- Commentator Tweets: Various NBC and VERSUS commentators will provide Twitter content throughout the playoffs, including occasional in-game Tweets.
- Fan Questions: Fans will have the opportunity to ask questions to NBC and VERSUS commentators via Facebook and Twitter.
- Team Tabs: Fans who “Like” the joint NBC and VERSUS Facebook page will have the opportunity to play a variety of games and upload fan photos based around each of their favorite teams who made the playoffs. As teams advance in the playoffs, new and more difficult games will challenge fans.
- News: Fans can follow NBC and VERSUS Facebook and Twitter accounts to receive the most up to date scores, reports and stories from around the NHL and ProHockeyTalk.
HOCKEY CENTRAL: Each night the network televises a playoff game VERSUS will kick off the broadcast with a Hockey Central pregame show. Hosted by either Bill Patrick or Liam McHugh with Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick, Hockey Central will preview the night’s action around the Stanley Cup Playoffs. To wrap up each night, the Hockey Central postgame show will have the latest highlights, news, analysis, and player interviews. Throughout the playoffs, Hockey Central will continue to feature guest analysts including, Mike Keenan and Mike Milbury.
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.
NBC SPORTS SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Saturday, April 30
3 p.m. Boston at Philadelphia, Game 1*
Sunday, May 1
3 p.m. Detroit at San Jose, Game 2*
Saturday, May 7
12:30 p.m. **Tampa Bay at Washington, Game 5*
Sunday, May 8
3 p.m. **Boston at Philadelphia, Game 5*
VERSUS SEMIFINAL SCHEDULE (all times ET)
Thursday, April 28
9 p.m. Nashville at Vancouver, Game 1*
Friday, April 29
7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Washington, Game 1*
10 p.m. Detroit at San Jose, Game 1
Saturday, April 30
9 p.m. Nashville at Vancouver, Game 2*
Sunday, May 1
7 p.m. Tampa Bay at Washington, Game 2*
Monday, May 2
7:30 p.m. Boston at Philadelphia, Game 2*
Tuesday, May 3
7:30 p.m. TBD
Wednesday, May 4
7 p.m. Philadelphia at Boston, Game 3*
9:30 p.m. (JIP) San Jose at Detroit, Game 3
Thursday, May 5
8:30 p.m. Vancouver at Nashville, Game 4
Friday, May 6
7 p.m. San Jose at Detroit, Game 4*
9:30 p.m. (JIP) Philadelphia at Boston, Game 4
Saturday, May 7
8 p.m. **Nashville at Vancouver, Game 5*
Sunday, May 8
8 p.m. **Detroit at San Jose, Game 5*
Monday, May 9
Tuesday, May 10
Wednesday, May 11
Thursday, May 12
*Exclusive Games, **If necessary, (JIP) – joined in progress