Jan 13, 2013, 8:16 AM EDT
NBC will kick off its broadcast coverage of the NHL season with a pair of tantalizing matchups on opening day — the Philadelphia Flyers will take on in-state rivals Pittsburgh in one game, while the defending Stanley Cup champion LA Kings will host the Chicago Blackhawks in the other.
Coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jan. 19 with NHL Live — programming will include the Kings’ banner raising, celebrating the first Cup win in franchise history.
Following the ceremony, NBC will offer regional coverage of either LA-Chicago (puck drop at 3:25 p.m. ET) or Pittsburgh-Philly (3:35 p.m. ET).
Both games promise to be explosive affairs.
The Penguins-Flyers rivalry was arguably the league’s fiercest a year ago, culminating with an epic opening-round playoff series in which Philadelphia beat Pittsburgh in six games.
The teams combined for 56 goals, 309 penalty minutes and three suspensions totaling six games.
The Kings-’Hawks game should be equally compelling. Both are elite Western Conference teams, and the game will also hold special significance as it pits two of the last three Stanley Cup champions against each other.
LA won its season series with Chicago a year ago by going 2-1-1, winning both games at the Staples Center.
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