Jan 13, 2013, 8:16 AM EST
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.
- Report: Canes’ Jordan Staal to make season debut Monday 1
- ‘We can build on this': Devils lose with Lou Lamoriello behind the bench 5
- Video: Nyquist scores OT winner on incredible individual effort 8
- Video: Ovechkin crushes Letang, Capitals cruise by the Penguins 6
- Video: Prout, Lucic drop the gloves in highly anticipated scrap 73
- Video: NHL on NBC panel breaks down the coaching situation in New Jersey 4
- Lou Lamoriello unveils highly unorthodox coaching plan 37
- NHL on NBCSN: Sharks, Kings renew hostilities 3
- NHL on NBCSN: Can Capitals take advantage of depleted Penguins? 2
- Team Canada crushes Slovakia 14
- Sabres aren’t happy with league’s decision regarding Bartkowski (76)
- Video: Prout, Lucic drop the gloves in highly anticipated scrap (73)
- Report: NHL won’t hold hearing for Bartkowski hit (55)
- Video: Bartkowski delivers controversial hit to Gionta, fights Foligno (47)
- Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving? (43)