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After year away, soldier surprises son during Rangers-Capitals

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It is often forgotten that sporting events serve as a form of entertainment. But during the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Rangers and Capitals, the Madison Square Garden crowd was reminded that life exists outside of the hockey bubble.

During a stoppage in play, Staff Sgt. Ian Buck returned in surprising fashion. He had been deployed in Afghanistan for the past year and his 10-year-old son, Luke, thought he was participating in a contest in which he won a Blueshirts jersey. After he beat Adam Fox in naming the most sports movies, his prize came in the form of a special guest.

Instead of the sweater, Luke got to see his father and the emotional embrace delighted the crowd.

NHL ‘Road to the Winter Classic’ coming to NBCSN

Winter Classic - Sabres vs Rangers
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The critically-acclaimed Road To The NHL Winter Classic presented by Honda behind-the-scenes series will return to take viewers inside the dressing rooms and homes of the Buffalo Sabres and New York Rangers as they prepare to meet outdoors in the 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on Jan. 1 at Citi Field in New York, the National Hockey League (NHL®) announced today. Produced by 53-time Emmy® award winner Ross Greenburg in partnership with NHL Original Productions, the four-week, 30-minute limited series will premiere on Wednesday, Dec. 13 in the U.S. on NBCSN at 11:30 p.m. ET immediately following the Boston Bruins-Detroit Red Wings game on Wednesday Night Rivalry, and on Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. ET in Canada on Sportsnet before the Pittsburgh Penguins-Vegas Golden Knights game telecast.

The Road To The NHL Winter Classic docuseries has become an integral part of the NHL Winter Classicexperience for fans and teams alike,” said NHL Chief Content Officer and Executive Vice President Steve Mayer, who also serves as an Executive Producer for the series. “We are thrilled to showcase this great series with our partners who are broadcasting the game.  It’s a peek inside our world and we plan to take our fans behind the curtain more than ever before.”

“I’m excited to be part of the latest version of Road To The NHL Winter Classic,” said Greenburg. “I’m looking forward to working with the Sabres, Rangers and the NHL to give viewers a unique look as both teams prepare for January 1.”

Full episodes also will air on NHL Network™ and be available for viewing on NHL.com worldwide, NBCSports.com, the NBC Sports app in the U.S. and the Sportsnet app in Canada.

Both the Sabres and Rangers will be making their second appearance in the NHL Winter Classic®. Buffalo hosted the first-ever NHL Winter Classic® against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a 2-1 shootout loss in front of 71,217 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Jan. 1, 2008. New York defeated the hometown Philadelphia Flyers at Citizens Bank Park at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® on Jan. 2, 2012, by a score of 3-2.

The intrastate rivals have faced off in 177 regular-season games since the 1970-71 season, with the Sabresholding a 196-172 edge in points over the Rangers (BUF 81-62-34—196; NYR 71-76-30—172). In addition, the Sabres and Rangers have met twice in the Stanley Cup® Playoffs, with Buffalo winning both best-of-seven series, including their most recent matchup in the 2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals.

The 2018 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® will be broadcast live on NBC, Sportsnet and TVA Sports at 1 p.m. ET, continuing the tradition the League established in 2008 of hosting a regular-season outdoor game at the onset of the new year, with this year’s edition marking the 10-year anniversary of the first NHL Winter Classic® in Buffalo. Fans can join the conversation at NHL #WinterClassic on Twitter at @NHL, @NHLonNBC and @Sportsnet.

“Road To The NHL Winter Classic” presented by Honda on NBCSN (all times Eastern)

Premiere – Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 11:30 p.m. immediately following Boston Bruins-Detroit Red Wings
Episode 2 – Wednesday, Dec. 20 at 11:30 p.m. immediately following Detroit Red Wings-Philadelphia Flyers
Episode 3 – Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 11:30 p.m. immediately following Washington Capitals-New York Rangers
Episode 4 – Sunday, Jan. 7 at 11 p.m. immediately following Boston Bruins-Pittsburgh Penguins

“Road To The NHL Winter Classic” presented by Honda on Sportsnet (all times Eastern)

Premiere – Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m.
Episode 2 – Friday, Dec. 22 at 7 p.m.
Episode 3 – Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.
Episode 4 – Friday, January 5 at 7 pm (SN1)

“Road To The NHL Winter Classic” presented by Honda on NHL Network (all times Eastern)

Episode 1 – Sunday, Dec. 17 at 10 p.m.
Episode 2 – Sunday, Dec. 24 at 10 p.m.
Episode 3 – Sunday, Dec. 31 immediately following live World Junior Championship coverage (approximately 10:30 p.m.)
Episode 4 – Monday, Jan. 8 at 10 p.m.

 

WATCH LIVE: Sabres at Blue Jackets

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The Buffalo Sabres are looking to win three games in a row for the first time since last Feb. 14-18 as they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets. Coming off a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night, Phil Housley’s charges will face a well-rested Columbus team that hasn’t played since Saturday night and are looking to snap a two-game skid.

You can watch tonight’s game on NBCSN (8 p.m. ET), or online via the live stream.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE