The first episode of the four-part "EPIX Presents Road to the NHL Stadium Series" serves as an introduction to a California rivalry that is as hot now as it ever has been.
The San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings will meet at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on Feb. 21 for the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game this season. The first episode of the series opens with behind-the-scenes, on-the-ice, and on-the-bench footage of the last game the two rivals played before they take it outdoors under the Northern California sky.
The Sharks beat the Kings 4-2 at SAP Center on Jan. 21 in what was fittingly part of NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry series. EPIX had cameras all over SAP Center to prove how deep-rooted the rivalry between the teams is.
"When it comes to hockey we don't like each other," Kings defenseman Drew Doughty says. "We want bragging rights."
In addition to the rivalry, EPIX takes the viewer to the 2015 NHL All-Star Weekend in Columbus to follow Doughty and Kings center Anze Kopitar as well as Sharks defenseman Brent Burns. It appears they will be among the main characters in the series.
Other characters who were introduced are Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski, and John Scott from the Sharks. EPIX had a crew with Thornton during All-Star break trip to Cabo San Lucas.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter's son Chris, who has Down syndrome, is also featured extensively in the show, including a pre-arranged meeting with Maria Shriver. She invites him to be part of the Special Olympics in the summer.
The underlying theme of the first episode is the direction in which the teams are going. The Sharks are shown surging with wins against the Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Chicago Blackhawks; the Kings are shown to be searching with losses to the Sharks and Boston Bruins sandwiched around a win against the Blackhawks.
The first episode airs on EPIX Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET in the United States and in Canada on Sportsnet 360 at 7 p.m. ET. There will be episodes every Tuesday through Feb. 24. Viewers in the United States can also stream the show for free on NHL.com, the NHL app, and the official websites for each participating team as well as on EPIX.com and the EPIX mobile and connected device apps.