NBC Sports Group to air 105 NHL regular-season games in 2015-16
Coming off the second-most watched Stanley Cup Final on record, and the third-most watched NHL postseason in the past 18 years, NBC Sports Group will deliver coverage of 105 NHL regular-season games during the 2015-16 season, featuring 12 games on NBC and 93 games on NBCSN. The 105 regular-season games are the most ever scheduled across NBC Sports Group heading into a season. All games will be streamed live via NBC Sports Live Extra.
Schedule highlights include:
•NBCSN will provide coverage of the first NHL matchup on U.S. soil between 2015 top NHL draft picks Connor McDavid (No. 1, Edmonton) and Jack Eichel (No. 2, Buffalo), when the Buffalo Sabres host the Edmonton Oilers on March 1.
•Opening night doubleheaders on Oct. 7 on NBCSN, beginning with a "Wednesday Night Rivalry" "Original Six" matchup between the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers at 8 p.m. ET, as the Blackhawks raise their 2015 Stanley Cup championship banner to the United Center rafters. Opening night coverage continues with a "Wednesday Nightcap" at 10:30 p.m., when the Los Angeles Kings host the rival San Jose Sharks.
•NBC will present the 2016 "Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic" between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins from Gillette Stadium, home of the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, at 1 p.m. Jan. 1, 2016.
•NBC will air exclusive coverage of the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, featuring the Blackhawks and Minnesota Wild, on Sunday, Feb. 21, from TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota, and the Detroit Red Wings and Colorado Avalanche at Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies, on Saturday, Feb. 27 in primetime.
•NBCSN will present coverage of the NHL All-Star Game from Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, home of the Predators. NHL All-Star festivities will take place Friday, Jan. 29, through Sunday, Jan. 31, and will include the NHL Fantasy Draft, NHL All-Star Skills Competition and the NHL All-Star Game.
•NBC airs the "Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown" with a doubleheader on Black Friday, beginning at 1 p.m. when the Boston Bruins host the Rangers. "Thanksgiving Showdown" shifts to the West Coast at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN with a rematch of the Western Conference Final, as the Anaheim Ducks host the Blackhawks.
•NBC and NBCSN will combine to showcase a tripleheader on "Hockey Day In America" on Sunday, Feb. 21. The action starts on NBC at 12:30 p.m., when the Buffalo Sabres host the Pittsburgh Penguins, followed by the NHL Stadium Series at 3:30 p.m. on NBC, with the Wild and Blackhawks. "Hockey Day In America" shifts to NBCSN with an "Original Six" matchup to close out the tripleheader, as the Rangers host the Detroit Red Wings.
•The 2015-16 regular season on NBCSN will feature 24 "Wednesday Night Rivalry" telecasts, plus six "Wednesday Nightcaps" that will showcase Western Conference teams, including the Kings, Sharks and Avalanche.
•NBCSN will air 12 "Sunday Night Hockey" matchups on NBCSN, beginning Jan. 10. Matchups include Penguins-Capitals, Lightning-Bruins, Blues-Wild and Maple Leafs-Red Wings, in which first-year Toronto head coach Mike Babcock returns to Detroit to face the team he led for the past decade.
•The Blackhawks, Rangers, Penguins, Red Wings, Wild, Avalanche and Blues will each make 12 appearances across NBC and NBCSN, followed by four teams that will appear 11 times. The Eastern Conference champion Tampa Bay Lightning will make eight appearances across NBC and NBCSN.
•NBC and NBCSN will air rematches of the 2015 Eastern and Western Conference Finals. NBC will present Blackhawks-Ducks as part of the "Thanksgiving Showdown" doubleheader on Nov. 27 at 5 p.m. NBCSN will present Rangers-Lightning on Wednesday, Nov. 30, and will also provide coverage of their matchup in New York on April 5, in what will be Tampa Bay's first visit to Madison Square Garden since Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.
•Rangers-Penguins, Blackhawks-Wild, Capitals-Flyers, Penguins-Capitals and Kings-Sharks are the most featured regular-season matchups, each appearing three times across NBC and NBCSN.
•57 of NBC and NBCSN's 105 telecasts feature at least one Western Conference team, and every U.S. team will appear on NBC or NBCSN in the regular season.
•Bonus games may be added to the schedule once the season is underway.