NBC’s coverage of the 2018-19 NHL season continues with the 2019 Winter Classic between the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 1 p.m. ET from Notre Dame Stadium. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.
The last time Bruce Cassidy attended a Bruins Winter Classic he was up in the stands with his son when the team hosted the Montreal Canadiens at Gillette Stadium in 2015. The Bruins didn’t win that day — they fell 5-1 — so Cassidy, who was Boston’s AHL coach at the time, is hoping for a better result on Tuesday afternoon as they visit Notre Dame Stadium to face the Blackhawks.
Boston ended December going 7-7-0 and are hoping to start 2019 on a winning note under the unique conditions at the home of the Fighting Irish.
The Bruins currently hold the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference and are two points behind the Buffalo Sabres for third in the Atlantic Division. They’ve stayed afloat despite numerous injuries hitting their roster over the first 39 games of the season.
Longtime partners Zdeno Chara and Charlie McAvoy have not played together since Oct. 18.
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The Blackhawks come into the Winter Classic playing much better of late having won five of their last six games, including Saturday’s 3-2 overtime win against the Colorado Avalanche.
Helping their recent run has been Patrick Kane, who has seven goals and 12 points in his last six games. The veteran forward enters Tuesday coming off back-to-back three-point games, which includes a hat trick last Thursday vs. Minnesota. He’s averaging 1.25 points/game, the second-most productive rate of his career, behind his Hart Trophy-winning season in 2015-16 (1.29 ppg).
Not far off from Kane’s production is Dylan Strome, the No. 3 overall pick from 2015 who was dealt by the Arizona Coyotes last month. Through 17 games with the Blackhawks he’s recorded 13 points. He’s playing nearly four minutes a night more with Chicago and benefiting from playing alongside Kane.
Mike Tirico will host the network’s Winter Classic pre-game coverage alongside the NHL Live studio team of host Kathryn Tappen, and analysts Mike Milbury, Keith Jones and Jeremy Roenick. Six-time Emmy Award-winner and La Fontaine, Ind., native Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member Eddie Olczyk, and ‘Inside-the-Glass’ analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Notre Dame Stadium.
Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.