Forwards Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell are among the eight quarterfinalists announced Friday by EA Sports and the National Hockey League. They are joined by Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, Detroit's Pavel Datsyuk, Nashville's Pekka Rinne, Henrik Lundqvist of the Rangers, John Tavares of the Islanders and Anze Kopitar of Los Angeles.
Giroux faces Kopitar in one Bracket A battle, while Hartnell faces Malkin in a Battle of Pennsylvania showdown in the other half of Bracket A. In Bracket B, it is Datsyuk vs. Tavares and an all-goalie battle between Lundqvist and Rinne.
Bracket A voting runs from Friday to May 17. Bracket B voting begins May 18 and closes May 23. The semifinalists will be announced May 24, when the next round of voting begins. The EA Sports Cover Vote Finals takes place from May 29 to June 4.
The winner of the cover vote campaign will be unveiled as the EA SPORTS NHL 13 Cover Athlete at the 2012 NHL Awards™ on June 20 at the Wynn Las Vegas.
Sponsored by BlackBerry and hosted on NHL.com, the campaign gives fans the opportunity to select the face of the EA Sports NHL franchise. Fans worldwide are able to vote an unlimited number of times at http://www.nhl.com/covervote to ensure their favorite player advances through the rounds. Fans can also get involved and tweet their support by using #NHL13Cover on Twitter.