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NHL announces national broadcast sched

by Staff Writer / New Jersey Devils – The NHL has announced the national television schedules of NBC and VERSUS for the 2008-09 regular season.

In the U.S., VERSUS and NBC return for a fourth season as the NHL’s national television partners, while NHL Network begins its second season showing live games.

VERSUS will carry six Devils games: Monday, Nov. 3 vs. Buffalo at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 23 vs. Boston at 7 p.m.; Tuesday, Dec. 30 at St. Louis at 8 p.m.; Monday, Feb. 9 vs. NY Rangers at 7 p.m.; Monday, March 23 at Philadelphia at 7 p.m.; and Monday, March 30 at NY Rangers at 7 p.m.

The NHL season opens in Europe when four teams venture overseas for NHL PremiereTM 2008.  

On Oct. 4-5 the New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning will play two regular-season games against each other in Prague, Czech Republic, and the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators will start the regular-season by playing two games against each other in Stockholm, Sweden.  It is the second consecutive year the NHL will open regular-season play in Europe.  In 2007, the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings faced each other in two games at London’s O2 Arena.  

On Jan. 1, NBC will televise NHL Winter ClassicTM 2009, featuring the defending Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks playing outdoors at historic Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.  The game, which starts at 1 pm ET, will be the second regular-season outdoor NHL game played in the United States and the third regular-season outdoor game in League history.  

The 57th NHL All-Star Game will be played Jan. 25 in Montreal, which will host the 2009 game as part of the celebration of the club's 100th anniversary.  The game, as well as All-Star Saturday on Jan. 24, will be seen live on VERSUS.

In total, VERSUS will televise 56 regular-season games, All-Star weekend, games in each round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final.  Every game on VERSUS is produced and shown in HD where available.  

After NBC launches its NHL coverage New Year’s Day with NHL Winter Classic 2009 from Wrigley Field in Chicago, the NBC NHL “Game of the Week” drops the puck on Sunday, Jan. 18 when the Penguins host the Rangers.  The NHL and NBC will again collaborate on flexible scheduling for NBC's regular-season dates, providing fans the most exciting match-up available.  NBC will select from up to four games on Sunday afternoons. Thirteen days prior to the scheduled game, a game will be selected for broadcast on NBC.  All NBC “Game of the Week” games will be broadcast on Sundays and all games will be presented in High Definition. NBC will again broadcast games in the postseason, including Games 3-7 of the Stanley Cup Final in prime time.

NHL Network this season will televise 75 live games for its American audience.  All games shown in the U.S. will be in HD.  In addition, the network’s signature show, “NHL On The Fly,” returns nightly providing highlights and analysis of every NHL game.

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