News

2020-21 NHL SEASON BEGINS TONIGHT WITH TRIPLEHEADER ON NBCSN

Penguins-Flyers Drop Puck on Opening Night on NBCSN at 5:30 p.m. ET; Coverage Begins with NHL Live at 5:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Defending Stanley Cup Champion Lightning Host Blackhawks at 8 p.m. ET; Blues-Avalanche at 10:30 p.m. ET

Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick Voices Opening Night Tease

“We're going to have a 56-game sprint. I think that's going to create for a lot of intrigue…I think it makes for good drama.” – Brian Boucher on the Upcoming Season

“Nathan MacKinnon is the best player in the entire National Hockey League…The Avalanche absolutely 110% are the (Stanley Cup) favorite.” – Eddie Olczyk on the Colorado Avalanche

STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 13, 2021 – The 2020-21 NHL season begins tonight with a tripleheader on NBCSN, headlined by the defending Stanley Cup Champion Tampa Bay Lightning raising their Stanley Cup banner and hosting Patrick Kane and the Chicago Blackhawks at 8 p.m. ET. Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins face off against Claude Giroux and the Philadelphia Flyers at 5:30 p.m. ET in the opener. The nightcap will feature Nathan MacKinnon and the Colorado Avalanche hosting Ryan O'Reilly and the St. Louis Blues at 10:30 p.m. ET.

Opening night coverage begins with a special edition of NHL Live at 5:15 p.m. ET on NBCSN, leading into coverage of Penguins-Flyers. Kathryn Tappen anchors studio coverage throughout the evening with analysts Keith Jones and Patrick Sharp as well as NHL insider Bob McKenzie.

Eight-time Emmy Award-winner and recently retired Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick voices an opening night tease that previews the upcoming drama and storylines to follow during the unique 2020-21 season.

HOW TO WATCH – TONIGHT, WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13

  • TV – NBCSN
  • Streaming – NBC Sports app and NBCSports.com
Date Coverage Commentators Time (ET)
Wed., January 13 NHL Live Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones,
Patrick Sharp, Bob McKenzie
5:15 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Philadelphia Kenny Albert, Pierre McGuire 5:30 p.m.
Chicago at Tampa Bay John Forslund, Eddie Olczyk,
Brian Boucher
8 p.m.
St. Louis at Colorado Brendan Burke, AJ Mleczko 10:30 p.m.
NHL Overtime Kathryn Tappen, Keith Jones,
Patrick Sharp
1 a.m.*

*Immediately following game coverage

BROADCAST NOTES & FUN FACTS

  • The Lightning hold the NHL’s best points percentage in season openers (.704), going 18-7-2 in 27 all-time contests, and currently own the NHL’s longest active win streak in season-opening games (6-0-0).
  • Defending Stanley Cup champions are 58-25-16 in season openers in NHL history.
  • The Penguins and Flyers are set to clash in the ‘Battle of Pennsylvania’ when they meet in a season-opening game for the eighth time and first since 2012-13. The clubs have identical 3-3-1 records over the previous seven matchups.
  • Nathan MacKinnon had 93 points in 2019-20, which was 43 more than his next-closest teammate and 27 more than any other current member of the new West Division (Max Pacioretty, Vegas, 66).
  • Patrick Kane has 18 points in 13 career season-opening games, tied with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin for the most such points among active NHL players.
  • 2020-21 marks the first regular season in NHL history in which teams will face only intra-divisional opponents.

NHL SEASON PREVIEW CONFERENCE CALL

On Monday, Olczyk, Boucher, McGuire, and Mleczko joined NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood to preview the upcoming NHL season on a media conference call. Following are highlights:

Brian Boucher on the upcoming season: “We're going to have a 56-game sprint. I think that's going to create for a lot of intrigue…I think it makes for good drama.”

AJ Mleczko: “No matter what adjustments we have to make as fans, as broadcasters, obviously for the teams, the NHL, the NHLPA, I'm just so excited to see these guys back on the ice. I'm so excited to be able to call these games.”

Eddie Olczyk on the Colorado Avalanche: “Nathan MacKinnon is the best player in the entire National Hockey League…The Avalanche absolutely 110% are the (Stanley Cup) favorite.”

Pierre McGuire on the Philadelphia Flyers: “Grinder, character guys, guys that aren't afraid to take risks to make plays, they're important players. The Flyers have a lot of those guys. I think the Flyers proved a lot last year. I think they will prove a lot this year.”

2020-21 REGULAR SEASON COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS

NBC Sports is scheduled to present roughly 100 games featuring all 31 teams on NBC and NBCSN during the 2020-21 NHL regular-season, including a record 16 regular-season games on the NBC broadcast network. Click here for more info.

--NBC SPORTS--

Media contacts

Jamie Palatini

203-356-2791

jamie.palatini@nbcuni.com

Matt Potolski

203-356-2719

Matt.Potolski@nbcuni.com