Dartmouth (6-5-2) at Rennselaer (3-15-0) Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network
Dartmouth: The Big Green took second place at the Ivy Shootout to begin the season, losing a tight game to ECAC league-power Yale. The momentum carried into wins over Princeton and Quinnipiac, though it's been a mixed bag for Dartmouth since: losses to league foes Colgate, Cornell and Clarkson, and a win over St. Lawrence left the team with a 3-4-1 record in November, though the return of several key players led to a strong non-conference showing to close out 2012. They went into the holiday break on a high note, topping Sacred Heart, and then getting to the final of the Ledyard National Bank Classic by edging Holy Cross before dropping a shootout to St. Lawrence in the championship game, leaving them with a 2-0-1 record in December. Should the good times continue to roll, Dartmouth is poised for a big second half.
Two of the hottest teams in the Eastern Conference will clash Wednesday night. And viewers across the United States will get to see it.
The New Jersey Devils -- who are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games -- will host the Northeast Division leading Boston Bruins (24-10-1) at the Prudential Center. Opening faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on NBCSN in the U.S.
Following the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on NBC Monday afternoon, sports fans will be introduced to a new 24/7 cable sports network– NBC Sports Network.
The showdown featuring the San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks (8 p.m. ET) Monday night will serve as the first NHL broadcast on the new national network. Beginning that day and moving forward, VERSUS -- which has served as the NHL’s national television partner in the United States since 2005 -- will be rebranded as NBC Sports Network.
Boston University (10-5-1) at Notre Dame (11-6-3)
Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, Versus
Boston University: The Terriers have strung together a respectable season to this point: wins over Denver, Boston College, New Hampshire, and Maine have given BU credibility, but recent player personnel moves have left the team searching for a new identity. Leading scorer Corey Trivino (off-ice issues) and Charlie Coyle (QMJHL) are gone, and while this is a huge blow on the surface, it's also a chance for a team that's been earmarked by inconsistency and lack of 60-minute efforts to re-invent itself and prove it can be in the mix.
Viewers across both the United States and Canada will have the opportunity to see first-hand if the St. Louis Blues can remain ahead of the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference standings Tuesday night.
St. Louis (21-10-4), which has completely turned things around under new coach Ken Hitchcock, will visit the Red Wings (22-12-1) at Joe Louis Arena. Opening faceoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on VERSUS in the U.S. and TSN2 in Canada.
The Dallas Stars' bid to seize sole possession of first place in the Pacific Division will be televised nationally in the United States on Monday night.
One of the surprise teams in the League this season, the Stars (18-12-1) will attempt to break the first-place tie with San Jose as they host the Anaheim Ducks at the American Airlines Center. Opening faceoff is slated for 8 p.m. ET and can be seen on VERSUS in the U.S.
The Chicago Blackhawks' bid for a fifth consecutive win highlights the NHL's three-game schedule Sunday.
Chicago, which sits atop the Central Division at 20-8-4, will face the Calgary Flames at 7 p.m. ET at the United Center. Ray Emery has been between the pipes for each of the Blackhawks' four straight wins and is now 8-1-2 on the season. Calgary sits in third place in the Northwest Division at 14-14-4 after Friday's 3-2 shootout loss at Florida.
Viewers in both the United States and Canada can tune in Monday night to see if the New Jersey Devils can get back into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
New Jersey (14-13-1), which is coming off a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens after Zach Parise came up empty on a penalty shot in the final minute of regulation on Saturday afternoon, will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning at the St. Pete Times Forum. Opening faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET and can be seen on both VERSUS in the U.S. and TSN2 in Canada.
The Florida Panthers are enjoying the rarified air of first place in the Southeast Division -- a height they haven't reached this late in the season in more than a decade. The Panthers, who haven't made the playoffs since 2000, will try to grab first place in the Eastern Conference when they visit Buffalo in one of four games on Friday's NHL schedule.
The Panthers will be trying for their second win in as many nights. They went into Boston on Thursday and blanked the Bruins 2-0 behind a 40-save shutout by Jose Theodore. Buffalo is coming off a 4-3 overtime loss to Philadelphia on Wednesday in which the Sabres blew a 3-0 lead.
We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
TONIGHT ON NHL NETWORK
5:00 ET: NHL Live Powered by Constellation 7:00 ET: NHL Tonight