– Before the focus shifts to the incomparable drama of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, NHL Network this week will air a full slate of regular season live game action that includes Clubs holding down top playoff positions, those in the playoff hunt and those eager to find out whom they will face in their first-round playoff series.
Four match-ups with playoff implications will be broadcast in U.S. markets, including two games featuring the Phoenix Coyotes
-- April 7 against Nashville (10 p.m. ET) and April 10 at San Jose (10:30 p.m. ET), the second game of an NHL Network double-header. The defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins will face the Islanders on April 8 (7:30 p.m. ET) and the Northeast Division leading Buffalo Sabres
will take on the Ottawa Senators
on Hockey Night in Canada in the NHL Network early game on April 10.
NHL Network Canada will broadcast the April 9 game between the Atlanta Thrashers
and the Washington Capitals
at 7 p.m. ET and the Penguins-Islanders afternoon match on the final day of the regular season, Sunday.
Also this week, On The Fly nightly segments will showcase the best of what has been a gripping 2009-10 regular season. Beginning tonight, NHL Network will chronicle and analyze the season's top goals, saves and games, the most amazing comebacks and surprises. In addition, analysis, storylines and video packages will be streamed and available on NHL.com.
The first segment of "Top Moments" on On The Fly will air tonight as the top goals of the season thus far will be on display and ready for evaluation. Will Alex Ovechkin
's one-handed goal against the New York Rangers
make the cut? On The Fly analysts will pick their favorites and break down the incredible plays that have graced the nightly highlight reels for months.
Top saves of the season will be plentiful on Tuesday's edition of On The Fly. Could Roberto Luongo
's desperation save against the Tampa Bay Lightning
be the one to beat in this segment of spectacular stops by the League's net protectors?
Featuring highlights of the NHL's top comebacks of 2009-10 -- including Chicago's rally from five goals down on December 12 -- Wednesday's On The Fly will be an information-packed hour. E.J. McGuire, Central Scouting's head honcho, will be the in-studio guest and will run down the list of the final rankings (released earlier in the day) and top prospect surprises heading into this year's NHL Entry Draft in Los Angeles. Will OHL rivals LW Taylor Hall (Windsor Spitfires) and C Tyler Seguin
(Plymouth Whalers) retain the one-two rankings, respectively?
Thursday's feature will be a look into the season's top games. It is a good bet that there will be a Caps-Pens game or two among the select few. There is no denying that every time Pittsburgh and Washington meet, sparks fly, players unleash their best and history is made.
Also on Thursday's show: a special feature on the "Race to the Rocket," that delves into the NHL's regular-season goal-scoring race. With only four games remaining, the heat is on Tampa Bay sophomore Steven Stamkos
to keep up with defending Rocket Richard champion Ovechkin. Heading into the final week, both players have 46 goals, one behind the League leader, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby
. The 2009-10 Rocket Richard Trophy race very well could come down to the final day of the regular season.
And after clinching their first playoff berth since 2002, could this be the year for the Phoenix Coyotes
to make a run to the Final? Friday, On The Fly explores the most surprising teams of the season. The Coyotes (48-25-6, 102 points) already have set franchise records for most wins and points in a single season. And with three games remaining, they are bound to add pages to the Club's history books.
NHL On The Fly also will broadcast special Eastern and Western Conference playoff preview shows at 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday, April 12, and Tuesday, April 13, respectively.
NHL Network weekly highlight schedule
|Mon, April 5
||On The Fly: Top Goals
|Tue, April 6
||On The Fly: Top Saves
|Wed, April 7
||On The Fly: Top Comebacks
||On The Fly: Central Scouting Final Rankings Release
||Nashville Predators at Phoenix Coyotes, 10 p.m. (U.S. only)
|Thu, April 8
||On The Fly: Top Games
||On The Fly: The Race to the Rocket
||New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins, 7:30 p.m. (U.S. only)
|Fri, April 9
||On The Fly: Top Surprises
||Atlanta Thrashers at Washington Capitals, 7 p.m. (Canada only)
|Sat, April 10
||Hockey Night in Canada: Buffalo Sabres at Ottawa Senators, 7 p.m. (U.S. only)
||Phoenix Coyotes at San Jose Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (U.S. only)
|Sun, April 11
||Pittsburgh Penguins at New York Islanders, 5 p.m. (Canada only)