56 Sochi Olympians highlight this week's hockey coverage
The return of the "NHL Game of the Week" on NBC, featuring a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup Final, round two of Sidney Crosby (Sochi Olympics Team Canada member) and Alex Ovechkin (Team Russia) on "Wednesday Night Rivalry," and 56 Sochi Olympians highlight nearly 30 hours of hockey coverage across NBC and NBCSN this week.
The Chicago Blackhawks and Boston Bruins are featured in the return of NBC's "NHL Game of the Week" Sunday at 12:30 p.m. in their first meeting since Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals last season. The Blackhawks and Bruins sit atop their respective divisions, and Chicago is tied with St. Louis and Anaheim for the fewest regulation losses (8) in the league. This is the first of nine Sunday "NHL Game of the Week" regular-season broadcasts on NBC prior to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator Mike "Doc" Emrick, analyst Eddie Olczyk and Emmy Award-winning "Inside-the-Glass" analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from United Center in Chicago.
NBCSN's "Wednesday Night Rivalry" matchup between the Capitals and Penguins features the top two teams in the Metropolitan Division, and the top two offensive leaders in the NHL. Crosby's 67 points outpace Chicago's Patrick Kane (Team USA) and the New York Islanders' John Tavares (Team Canada) by 11 points for second place, while Ovechkin's 32 goals are seven more than any other player in the league. This marks the second meeting of the season between the Capitals and Penguins; Pittsburgh shut out Washington by a score of 4-0 on "Wednesday Night Rivalry" Nov. 20.
Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire will provide live commentary from CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, where the Penguins have won 12 straight games, dating back to Nov. 13.
NBC Sports Group's NHL coverage begins tonight when the Buffalo Sabres host the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m. Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (analyst) will have the call from the First Niagara Center in Buffalo.
Coverage continues Thursday, when the St. Louis Blues host the Los Angeles Kings at 8 p.m. on NBCSN. The Blues enter Thursday's action with the second-most home victories (17) in the Western Conference, and L.A. (96) and St. Louis (99) have allowed the fewest goals in the conference. Strader and Engblom will provide live commentary from Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
NBC Sports Group's NHL coverage concludes Sunday when the New York Rangers host the Capitals at 7:30 p.m. on NBCSN. Strader and Engblom will have the call from Madison Square Garden in New York.
The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics' men's hockey rosters are well-represented on NBC and NBCSN this week, with a combined 56 players and 13 Team USA members featured across NBC Sports Group's five NHL broadcasts, including Kane (Chicago Blackhawks), Ryan Miller (Buffalo Sabres), David Backes (St. Louis Blues), Jonathan Quick (Los Angeles Kings) and Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers).
"NHL Live," NBC Sports Group live NHL pre-game and post-game studio show, precedes all NHL telecasts on NBCSN.