The ending of the 2019 Stadium Series game between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field was riveting television. The Flyers’ comeback, capped off by captain Claude Giroux’s overtime goal, sent the crowd of 69,620 into euphoria and disbelief at the same time.
The build up to that dramatic winning goal was captured by NBC cameras and microphones for “Wired: Stadium Series – Penguins vs. Flyers,” which will air Tuesday, March 5 at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN following coverage of the Minnesota Wild-Nashville Predators game.
“It was as much fun as I’ve had on a shoot that I can remember,” said NBC Coordinating Producer Jack Felling. “It was just awesome.”
Four players from each team, plus Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan and Flyers assistant coach Ian Laperriere, and both referees, Dan O’Halloran and Jean Hebert, were mic’d up. There were also robotic camera on the benches and ISO cameras up high that were used to capture sound for both the television broadcast on NBC and the “Wired” show. Six ENG cameras filmed the action in hopes of giving the hour-long program a more cinematic feel.
“I’ve never seen a project with more footage and more sound,” Felling said.
As the 12 channels of audio were fed back to NBC Sports headquarters in Stamford, Ct., six loggers were on duty to transcribe the sound. By the morning after the game, full transcripts were completed. After a full day of loading the footage and sound, the editing process began with five edit rooms cutting down everything that was captured.
“It’s like looking up at Mt. Everest and you really don’t know how to even start climbing,” Felling said. “You just have to start and chip away, chip away, and eventually you polish to a point where you’ve got a show.”
Mike Emrick’s play-by-play from the game will act as the show’s narrator and guide viewers through some tense moments between the two rivals, like Wayne Simmonds’ hit on Brian Dumoulin that gave the Penguins defenseman a concussion and the scrum that ensued. Simmonds is heard yelling, “Who wants some?” at Pittsburgh players on the ice as the officials attempted to calm things down.
“I’ve been around sports my whole career and been doing this for 20 years,” said Felling. “I thought I knew how intense a professional hockey game would be, and I did not know how intense a professional hockey game would be. That’s what I’m excited for this show to convey, is standing up to that level of intensity is not for mortals. These guys are just different and it was really arresting to watch, the level of intensity and the physicality of play these guys endure night in and night out.”
The access the NBC crew was given allowed them to also tell the story of Simmonds’ final days with the Flyers. The Stadium Series game took place two days before the 2019 NHL trade deadline, and the future of the 30-year-old forward was a big topic on the weekend. As you see in the clip above, following Giroux’s OT winner, the mics picked up the affectionate exchange between the Flyers captain and Simmonds.
NBC Sports will take fans inside the sounds and passion of hockey with a one-hour special – “Wired: Stadium Series – Penguins vs. Flyers” – that will utilize audio from players, coaches and referees from the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on NBC. It airs March 5 at 11 p.m. ET on NBCSN.