STAMFORD, Conn. – June 10, 2015 – NBCSN continued its exclusive coverage of its 10th consecutive Stanley Cup Final tonight with Game 4 featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning, as the Blackhawks defeated the Lightning 2-1 to even the series at two games apiece. No team has led by more than one goal at any point in the series, and this marks the first time since 1968 that the first four games of the Stanley Cup Final have all been decided by one goal.
Three-time Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire had the call of Game 4 from the United Center in Chicago, Ill. This marks the ninth consecutive year that Emrick, Olczyk and McGuire will combine to call the Stanley Cup Final for NBC Sports Group.
Coverage began at 6:30 p.m. ET with NHL Live led by host Dave Briggs, alongside analysts Jeremy Roenick, Anson Carter and Brian Boucher on-set outside of the United Center. Coverage shifted inside the arena at 7:15 p.m. ET with host Liam McHugh, who was joined by analysts Mike Milbury and Keith Jones.
Tonight’s pre-game coverage on NBCSN also featured interviews with Hockey Hall of Famer and former Blackhawks goaltender Tony Esposito, as well as actor and Blackhawks fan Vince Vaughn, and Rage Against The Machine guitarist and Blackhawks fan Tom Morello.
Watch tonight’s pre-game segment with Vince Vaughn and Tom Morello: http://www.nbcsports.com/hockey/nhl/vince-vaughns-passion-blackhawks-isnt-act?guid=nbc_nhl_vincevaughn_150610
NHL Live on NBCSN (6:30-8 p.m. ET)
Boucher on Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford: “So far in this series, he’s just been average…he’s been outplayed in these last two games by Ben Bishop.”
Roenick on playoff beards: “The beard is a must in the playoffs. That’s one of my favorite things about getting to the playoffs, because it’s something that we all do. You grow that beard and it shows your ‘warrior-like’ feeling. It’s an old legend that I don’t want to be out (of the game). I love the thought of marketing the players. These players are the ultimate warriors. Market the beards, because the longer your beard gets, the better your team has played.”
Carter on playoff beards: “It’s all about the camaraderie. The longer your beard is and the more full your beard is, means the deeper you’ve gone in the playoffs.”
Milbury on the Lightning: “The Tampa Bay Lightning are bringing a lot more to the table than a lot of people gave them credit for.”
Milbury on Blackhawks’ blue-line issues: “Putting Kimmo Timonen in this position is a very interesting call by Joel Quenneville…it’s been such a long stretch when he didn’t play this year, and when he came back the rust was so heavy that he scares me. Trevor van Riemsdyk played very well for Chicago the other day. I’d go to him first.”
Jones on Andrei Vasilevskiy starting Game 4: “This is big-time news for the Tampa Bay Lightning and their fans.”
Milbury on Vasilevskiy starting: “Wow…if you’re Jon Cooper, you hope he just skates around and gets the butterflies out of his system…(the Lightning) are going to rally around this kid. This is going to be a hard game for Chicago.”
Game 4 on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET)
Olczyk on Vasilevskiy starting Game 4: “This is why it’s called a team game. You’ve got to be ready. You’re an extra player, a backup goaltender, and you get an unbelievable opportunity to be center-stage.”
Jones on Blackhawks: “They were sloppy, Joel Quenneville shuffled all four of his lines, and they weren’t in sync. They couldn’t complete a pass.”
Milbury on the Blackhawks: “In a game where I thought Chicago was going to come out with the biggest punch, the Blackhawks are against the ropes against a team that looks like it wants it more.”
Milbury on the Lightning: “This is a comfortable, confident group, and they’re showing it with every passing game.”
McGuire on defensive breakdown on Toews goal, 1-0 Blackhawks: “The Tampa Bay Lightning were trying to change on the fly…biggest thing they couldn’t do was get possession of the puck because of the breakaway off the faceoff.”
Emrick on Vasilevskiy: “The test continues, he’s answered the call, and the post has answered twice, but not greatly with confidence. But his team is playing great in front of him, only allowing 13 shots.”
Milbury on effective Tampa pressure: “(The Blackhawks) can’t handle the pressure and the skating game from Tampa Bay. The Lightning’s fore-checking pressure is creating all kinds of problems for the Blackhawks.”
Jones on Lightning shutting down Patrick Kane: “The Lightning have done a good job of defending against the rush. Tampa is doing it by committee. Every time 88 has the puck, they’re defending extremely well. Kane is starting to press. We know him as ‘Showtime,’ but it’s time to show for Patrick Kane.”
McGuire on Saad goal, 2-1 Blackhawks: “Nothing fancy. A hard play at the net, watch him just stay with it from his skate, to his stick…it’s not pretty, but it’s darn effective.”
Olczyk on Lightning’s late push: “The Lightning had nine attempts towards Corey Crawford in 80 seconds…some A++ chances at the end of the game, and Crawford stood tall…he made a couple of incredible saves late to make this a best-of-three for his team.”
Milbury: “It was a heavyweight battle. I thought Tampa played better for most of the night. But because Chicago has been here before, they can find ways to win.”
Jones on the Lightning: “You look at Tampa, you come away impressed. If you’re a Blackhawks fan, you’re nervous. I thought this Tampa Bay Lightning team was coming to the Stanley Cup Final to gain experience. That’s not the case. This is a great team. This is a team that has skating legs, that has jump, that has cohesiveness, that gave the Blackhawks everything they could handle. I came into this game thinking the Blackhawks would win. They did, but it wasn’t the way I thought they would win this game.”
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–