NBC SPORTS’ NHL PLAYOFF COVERAGE BEGINS SATURDAY WITH VANCOUVER OLYMPICS MVP RYAN MILLER LEADING BUFFALO VS. BOSTON
Two-Time Defending Western Conference Champion Detroit Hosts Phoenix on Sunday
“Ryan Miller was a great goaltender before the Olympics but he is at an even higher level of greatness now.” – NBC Sports’ Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick
NEW YORK – April 15, 2010 – Goaltender Ryan Miller, MVP of the Vancouver Olympics hockey tournament, leads the Eastern Conference’s third-seeded Buffalo Sabres against the sixth-seeded Boston Bruins in Game 2 of their 2010 Stanley Cup Conference Quarter-Final series this Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. NBC Sports’ NHL playoff coverage continues this Sunday when the Western Conference’s fifth-seeded Detroit Red Wings, who are two-time defending conference champions, host the fourth-seeded Phoenix Coyotes at 3 p.m. ET in Game 3.
On Saturday on site at HSBC Arena, Mike “Doc” Emrick (play-by-play), who is nominated for a 2010 Sports Emmy Award, and Eddie Olczyk (analyst) will call the game. Reporting and offering analysis will be Darren Pang and Mike Milbury. On Sunday at Joe Louis Arena, Emrick and Olczyk will call the game with Milbury and Jeremy Roenick reporting and providing studio analysis.
EMRICK: “The playoffs are a battle of wills. Defense and goaltending tends to win at playoff time. There’s also the grit factor and all four of these teams have it.”
BUFFALO-BOSTON: The series begins tonight in Buffalo. Boston won four of the six games during the regular season. The series features the top two goalies in goals-against average and save percentage with Boston rookie Tuukka Rask (1.97 GAA and .931 save percentage) and Buffalo’s Miller (2.22 and .929).
MILBURY: “Both teams have great goaltending, so it’s going to come down to whether or not Boston has enough offense to win games.”
EMRICK: “Ryan Miller was a great goaltender before the Olympics but he is at an even higher level of greatness now. Viewers can expect to see some spectacular goaltending this weekend from all four goalies.”
PHOENIX-DETROIT: The Coyotes lead the series 1-0 by way of a 3-2 home victory last night. Phoenix defensemen Derek Morris scored three points including the game-winning goal 2:19 into the third period. Game 2 will be played in Phoenix on Friday night. The teams split their regular-season series with each winning twice. Detroit is making its 19th consecutive playoff appearance while Phoenix is in for the first time since 2002.
MILBURY: “It’s clear that Detroit isn’t simply going to win games because they are Detroit. They are going to have to earn it. Phoenix is a powerful opponent. They have done a great job avoiding distractions and are making people believe in them.”
EMRICK: “Phoenix is the Cinderella story of all Cinderella stories. I’m excited to see how they react to playing in front of a nationwide television audience against Detroit’s high-powered offense.”
NBC Sports’ NHL Quarter-Final Round Coverage
(All times Eastern)
On Saturday, April 24, NBC Sports will broadcast the Western Conference’s second-seeded Chicago Blackhawks hosting the seventh-seeded Nashville Predators at 3 p.m. ET in Game 5 of their series, if necessary. On Sunday, April 25, Detroit again hosts Phoenix at 2 p.m. ET. in Game 6, if necessary.
Saturday, April 17
Boston at Buffalo, Game 2, 1 p.m.
Sunday, April 18
Phoenix at Detroit, Game 3, 3 p.m.
Saturday, April 24
Nashville at Chicago, Game 5, 3 p.m.*
Sunday, April 25
Phoenix at Detroit, Game 6, 2 p.m.*
* If necessary