Fans across North America will be able to watch the NHL all day Saturday as the 2012-13 season gets under way.
It starts with NHL Tonight's #HOCKEYISBACK preview show, which airs from 2-3 p.m. ET on NHL Network in the United States and Canada and will be streamed on NHL.com.
One of the better rivalries in the League will get things going on the ice: The Philadelphia Flyers play host to the Pittsburgh Penguins at 3 p.m. ET. The game will be shown on NBC in the United States and RDS2 in Canada. The Flyers ousted the Penguins in a wild first-round matchup during the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sixteen teams begin a pursuit of the most prestigious trophy in all of sports this week, as the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs get under way with three games Wednesday night.
The postseason begins with one of the fiercest rivalries in the sport, as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Philadelphia Flyers at the Consol Energy Center. A healthy Sidney Crosby (37 points in 22 regular-season games) leads the Pens, who have home-ice advantage as the No. 4 seed after finishing five points ahead of the Flyers in the standings.
For the first time since 1928, the NHL's regular season is ending on a Saturday -- and the final 12 hours of the season will determine who plays whom when the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next week.
The action begins at 1 p.m. ET when Chicago visits Detroit in a game that will determine where both teams finish. A regulation win will move the Hawks into fifth place in the West, ahead of Detroit. A win by the Wings could move them past Nashville into fourth place.
NBC will televise the game in the United States; TSN2 will air the game in Canada.
The Pittsburgh Penguins' continued pursuit of home-ice advantage in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be aired nationally as part of the NBC Sports Network's doubleheader Tuesday night.
The Penguins -- who currently have just a one-point lead on the Philadelphia Flyers for the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference, will visit the Boston Bruins at TD Garden as part of the NHL's 10-game schedule. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on NBCSN in the United States and TSN2 in Canada.
The Washington Capitals have their playoff fate in their own hands, and they can move closer to locking up the last playoff berth in the Eastern Conference on Monday night.
The Caps take a two-point lead on Buffalo into their game at Tampa Bay, one of just two on the NHL schedule. Washington blew a 2-0 lead against Montreal on Saturday but won 3-2 in a shootout to move two points clear of the Sabres. Tampa Bay, playing its final home game of the season, has won four of its last six and comes into this one after Steven Stamkos' single-season record fifth overtime goal of the season gave the Lightning a 3-2 win against Winnipeg.
With time running out on their playoff hopes, the Washington Capitals figure to be desperate when they come to Boston's TD Garden on Thursday. NHL Network viewers in the United States will get the chance to see exactly how desperate.
American viewers can tune in at 7 p.m. ET to see if the Caps can rebound from Tuesday's 5-1 loss to Buffalo, a game that dropped them two points behind the Sabres in the race for the last playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. But winning in Boston won't be easy -- the Northeast Division-leading Bruins have won three in a row and are coming off a 4-2 win against Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
First place in the Northeast Division is still up for grabs, and the Boston Bruins will continue their pursuit Tuesday night in front of a nationally-televised audience.
The Bruins, who just won two of three tough games on the West Coast, return home to face the Tampa Bay Lightning at the TD Garden as part of the NHL's eight-game schedule. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on the NBC Sports Network in the United States and TSN2 in Canada.
The Lightning (35-33-7) are likely to miss the playoffs after reaching the Eastern Conference Finals a year ago. However, the resilient club will be seeking its fourth straight win Tuesday night.
Fans in the United States will be treated to a Sunday doubleheader of NHL action on the NBC Sports Network as the playoff races head into the home stretch.
The first game begins at 5 p.m. ET when the Minnesota Wild visit Washington. The Caps need to beat the Wild to regain eighth place in the East -- they dropped into ninth place when the Buffalo Sabres beat the Wild on Saturday.
When that game is over, the action shifts to Chicago, where the Blackhawks will host Nashville. The Predators come to town after beating Winnipeg 3-1 on Saturday night, while the Hawks have been off since beating Vancouver 2-1 on Wednesday. That game can also be seen in Canada on TSN2.
The days are dwindling down to a precious few as the regular season enters its last two weeks, and the New York Rangers are trying to hang on to first place in the Eastern Conference. The NHL Network will be in Toronto on Saturday to see if they can stay there.
U.S. viewers can tune into the NHL Network at 7 p.m. ET to see the Rangers visit the Leafs in one of 11 games on the schedule. The Rangers enter the night one point ahead of Pittsburgh after Friday's 4-1 home loss to Buffalo. The Leafs are back home after a successful trip to Newark, where they beat the Devils 4-3 in a shootout. The game can be seen in Canada on CBC.
Saturday's action gets under way at 2 p.m. ET when Calgary visits Dallas in a meeting between two of the teams scrambling for playoff berths in the West.
All good things must come to an end, including long homestands. The New York Rangers will wrap up a seven-game stretch at Madison Square Garden when they host Buffalo in one of six games on Friday's NHL schedule.
Both teams come into the game off home victories on Wednesday. The Rangers topped Detroit 2-1 in overtime to stay on top of the Eastern Conference standings, while the Sabres blanked Montreal 3-0 to move closer to eighth place and the final playoff berth.