"I think that the notion of seeing outdoor pond hockey championships going on in Minnesota as well as inner-city hockey in Washington cuts quite a cross section."
-- Mike 'Doc' Emrick
The image of hockey's Holy Grail being lifted in front of the skyline of the city it currently calls home will kick off six hours of regional and national coverage for U.S. audiences on NBC that will bring viewers to five different games, all of which will have major playoff implications as the season enters its final eight weeks.
NBC will open its coverage with a live pre-game show from Chicago's Millennium Park at noon ET, which will be followed by three regional games, starting with Washington's visit to Buffalo at 12:35 p.m. ET. At 12:40 p.m. ET the puck will drop at Madison Square Garden between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia, and Detroit and Minnesota will get underway five minutes later at 12:45 p.m. ET at Xcel Energy Center. The deliberately staggered start times gives NBC the ability to bring viewers to all three sites during intermissions, as well as bring each game's conclusion to fans across the country.