NHL on NBCSN

Kyle Connor #81, Blake Wheeler #26 and Mark Scheifele #55 of the Winnipeg Jets
Getty Images

The Buzzer: Jets, Kings extend winning streaks; Blackhawks thump Sharks

Three Stars

1) Alex DeBrincat, Chicago Blackhawks

The goal-scoring numbers have not been there for DeBrincat this season, but a three-assist evening Wednesday helped the Blackhawks defeat the San Jose Sharks, 6-2. His helpers came on three consecutive goals (two on the power play) in the second period as the Blackhawks turned a one-goal deficit into a two-score advantage. DeBrincat’s most highlight-worthy assist came at 16:33 of the middle frame when he found Patrick Kane darting toward the back post. The 22-year-old forward weaved around Marc-Edouard Vlasic before Kane netted his second of the evening. Rookie forward Dominik Kubalik added his 30th of the season in the victory.

2) Kyle Connor, Winnipeg Jets

The Jets claimed sole possession of the first wild card in the Western Conference with a 4-2 win against the Edmonton Oilers. Connor scored twice in the third period to help the Jets extend their winning streak to four games. Defenseman Neal Pionk blocked a shot from Leon Draisaitl which allowed Connor to bolt toward the Oilers net. Blake Wheeler delivered a perfect pass to set up a breakaway for Connor who gave the Jets a 3-2 lead with a five-hole finish. Connor added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal the victory for the Jets.

3) Cale Makar, Colorado Avalanche

After missing five straight games with an upper-body injury, Makar returned to the lineup and pitched in offensively with three assists in the Avs’ 3-2 win against the Rangers. He helped set up power-play goals for Tyson Jost and Vladislav Namestnikov in regulation. Then, during the three-on-three overtime session, he moved around the offensive zone until firing a wrist shot that Compher eventually deflected for the game-winning goal. Makar has recorded 50 points this season and is in a tight race for the Calder Trophy with Vancouver Canucks defenseman Quinn Hughes. The Avalanche remain two points behind the Central Division-leading St. Louis Blues but have one game in hand.

[RELATED: NHL evaluating options due to Coronavirus]

Highlights of the Night

Kane scored his second of the game after DeBrincat delivered a perfect cross-ice pass.

Connor McDavid returned to action and beat Connor Hellebuyck to the far post.

It only took Bobby Ryan 29 seconds to open the scoring when he buried this feed from Brady Tkachuk.

Playoff Push

Stat of the Night

Scores

Chicago Blackhawks 6, San Jose Sharks 2

Winnipeg Jets 4, Edmonton Oilers 2

Colorado Avalanche 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT)

St. Louis Blues 4, Anaheim Ducks 2

Los Angles Kings 3, Ottawa Senators 2


Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

Blackhawks remain in playoff race with 6-2 win against Sharks

The Chicago Blackhawks are trying to make one last push for the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

They ended a two-game skid with a 6-2 win against the San Jose Sharks Wednesday. Patrick Kane scored twice, and Alex DeBrincat dished out three assists and the Blackhawks moved to within six points of the Western Conference wild card. Rookie forward Dominik Kubalik notched his 30th of the season in addition.

Evander Kane and Timo Meier scored in the Sharks’ fourth straight loss.

Blackhawks power play connects

Chicago’s power play ranks near the bottom of the NHL in terms of efficiency. However, they snapped an 0-14 streak against the Sharks’ No. 1 penalty-killing unit and scored twice in the victory.

Kane opened the scoring for the Sharks with a power-play goal of his own, but the Blackhawks answered in the second period with back to back goals on the man advantage.

Duncan Keith scored his third of the season at 4:33 of the second period to even the score at 1-1. The Blackhawks alternate captain slung a wrist shot from the blueline that sailed past the glove of Aaron Dell. Kirby Dach provided a screen to distract the Sharks goaltender.

DeBrincat recorded the second of his three assists with a pretty cross-ice pass to Kane at 16:33 of the middle frame. Kane split the defenders and darted toward the back post before finishing the beautiful feed.


Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.

WATCH LIVE: Avalanche visit Sharks on NBCSN

Getty Images

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the Colorado Avalanche and San Jose Sharks. Coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

After winning seven consecutive games from Feb. 19 – Mar. 2, the Avs have now dropped two straight. Colorado lost 6-3 at Vancouver on Friday night, snapping a nine-game franchise-record road winning streak, but with the Blues falling to the Devils earlier in the night the Avs had a chance to take over first place in the West with a win.

Nazem Kadri, Mikko Rantanen and Philipp Grubauer have all recently been back on the ice skating and could rejoin the team before the end of the regular season.

In the wake of Grubauer’s injury, Czech netminder Pavel Francouz has been heavily relied upon. The 29-year-old has started nine of the last 10 games, a stretch that included him winning six straight from Feb. 19 – Feb. 29. Francouz earned at least one point in eight of those nine starts (6-1-2), suffering his only regulation loss in Friday’s game in Vancouver.

For the Sharks, the 2019-20 campaign can’t end fast enough. San Jose finds themselves near the bottom of the Pacific Division standings and are headed towards missing the postseason for just the second time in the last 16 seasons, a year after making the Conference Final and losing to eventual Stanley Cup champion Blues.

The NHL sent a memo to all 31 of its teams on Friday, urging players to limit contact with fans due to the coronavirus outbreak. The Sharks already have made some changes to their usual routine and starting Friday, in a policy that will remain in place for the foreseeable future, members of the media are not allowed into San Jose’s dressing room after practice, and instead conducted their player interviews at a podium outside of it.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 10 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

WHAT: Colorado Avalanche at San Jose Sharks
WHERE: SAP Center
WHEN: Sunday, March 8, 10 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Avalanche-Sharks stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

AVALANCHE
Gabriel LandeskogNathan MacKinnonVladislav Namestnikov
Tyson JostJ.T. CompherJoonas Donskoi
Matt NietoPierre-Edouard BellemareValeri Nichushkin
Vladislav Kamenev – Sheldon Dries – Logan O’Connor

Ryan GravesSamuel Girard
Ian ColeErik Johnson
Mark Barberio – Kevin Connauton

Starting goalie: Pavel Francouz

SHARKS
Evander KaneLogan CoutureDylan Gambrell
Timo MeierJoe ThorntonMarcus Sorensen
Antti Suomela – Alexandr True – Kevin Labanc
Melker KarlssonJoel KellmanStefan Noesen

Radim SimekBrent Burns
Marc-Edouard VlasicTim Heed
Nikolai Knyzhov – Brandon Davidson

Starting goalie: Martin Jones

Randy Hahn and analyst Jamie Baker will call the action at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Kathryn Tappen will host Sunday night’s studio coverage alongside analyst and three-time Canadian Olympic gold medalist Jennifer Botterill.

WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks host Blues on NBCSN

Getty Images
5 Comments

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Blues saw their eight-game win streak snap in Friday’s 4-2 loss at New Jersey, meanwhile, the Blackhawks also saw their four-game win streak come to an end in a 2-1 loss at Detroit on the same night.

Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko is back on the ice and has skated in separate sessions with assistant coaches and scratched players but hasn’t been cleared to practice at full speed. The 28-year-old underwent shoulder surgery in late October and has been sidelined for the last 58 games.

After losing to the Blues on Feb. 25, the Hawks went on to win four straight games and remained in the Wild Card mix. But a 2-1 loss Friday night to the worst team in the NHL, Detroit, halted the Hawks’ momentum in the crowded West wild card race.

Patrick Kane scored Chicago’s lone goal in the loss at Detroit on Friday, tallying his 31st goal of the season. It was the third consecutive game in which the American-born forward has scored. Kane has also recorded points in nine of his last 11 contests, giving him 13 pts (6G-7A) in that span.

Chicago netminder Corey Crawford started his 8th consecutive game on Friday night, a streak that began on Feb. 21 vs. Nashville. The two-time Cup champ stopped 23 of the 25 shots he faced against the Red Wings, but fell to 15-19-3 this season.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

WHAT: St. Louis Blues at Chicago Blackhawks
WHERE: United Center
WHEN: Sunday, March 8, 7 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Blues-Blackhawks stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

BLUES
Jaden Schwartz – Ryan O’Reilly – Brayden Schenn
Zach SanfordRobert ThomasDavid Perron
Alex SteenTyler BozakJordan Kyrou
Ivan BarbashevOskar SundqvistSammy Blais

Justin FaulkAlex Pietrangelo
Marco ScandellaColton Parayko
Vince DunnRobert Bortuzzo

Starting goalie: Jake Allen

BLACKHAWKS
Domnik Kubalik – Jonathan ToewsBrandon Saad
Alex NylanderDylan Strome – Patrick Kane
Alex DeBrincatKirby DachDrake Caggiula
Matthew HighmoreDavid KampfRyan Carpenter

Duncan KeithAdam Boqvist
Nick SeelerConnor Murphy
Olli MaattaSlater Koekkoek

Starting goalie: Corey Crawford

Kate Scott will call the action alongside U.S. Olympic gold medalists Kendall Coyne-Schofield and AJ Mleczko from United Center in Chicago, Ill. Game production will be led by producer Rene Hatlelid and director Lisa Seltzer.

The first-of-its-kind broadcast will be in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, which dates back over 100 years. The broadcast will highlight women who have made their mark on hockey, and sports in general, with the hopes to inspire future generations of women to excel on the ice and behind the scenes.

Sunday night’s coverage will also be surrounded by On Her Turf, NBC Sports’ female empowerment brand. The broadcast will include a number of features highlighting women in hockey during pre-game and intermissions, with custom in-game graphic integration and social coverage.

Q&A: Kate Scott on calling Blues-Blackhawks, inspiring young girls

9 Comments

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Sunday’s matchup between the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks. Coverage begins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

“You always have more time than you think.”

Those were just a few of the words of advice Mike Emrick passed on to Kate Scott before she calls her first NHL game Sunday night when the Blues visit the Blackhawks.

“It’s very calming because things do go very fast regardless of what sport you’re calling,” Scott told NBC Sports this week. “You’re calling a game on television so you always have to pictures to give you a beat or two longer than you might than if you were calling a game on the radio for you to find your footing and make sure you’re correct and say what you’re going to say.”

NBC Sports will utilize an all-female crew to broadcast and produce game coverage of Blues-Blackhawks, coinciding with International Women’s Day and marking the first NHL game broadcast and produced solely by women in the U.S. Scott will handle play-by-play duties, AJ Mleczko will be alongside her as analyst, and Kendall Coyne Schofield will be at ice level “inside the glass.”

Scott, who currently anchors, reports, hosts, and calls game for the Pac-12 Networks as well as NBC Sports Network, has prepared for Sunday’s game with a trio of rehearsals over the last few weeks. As she gets set to take the mic, she remembered some other advice Emrick gave to her: “Trust your preparation. Trust your process.”

We spoke to Scott this week about her preparation, how meaningful calling Sunday’s game will be, and what she wants young girls and boys to take away from seeing an all-female broadcast team.

Enjoy.

Q. In calling the rehearsal games, has that been your biggest challenge in training yourself to keep up with the pace of hockey compared to the other sports you call?

SCOTT: “Yeah, 100%. The pace of hockey is unlike anything else, and I call every other sport, except for car racing. There’s plenty of moments [in other sports] which are fast and you have to be on it for 10-15 seconds, but hockey, you’ve got to be on it for minutes at a time because the puck moves so fast. And as opposed to every other television sport, hockey is more of a radio call on television just because it is so fast moving, so a lot of times the folks at home don’t know where the puck is. It’s your job to make sure that they do by calling out who has it and where on the ice it is. That has been the biggest challenge but also the biggest help of getting to do the practice games, was just getting comfortable with that pace. The first game it felt like I was going 100 miles an hour, but the second it slowed down and then last week when we were in St. Louis I felt really good about that one.”

Q. Will the empowerment of this broadcast and what it means completely take over any nerves you might be feeling heading into Sunday night?

SCOTT: “I feel nerves before every single broadcast I do, regardless of what level or where it is just because I place importance on every broadcast that I do because I want it to be the best it can be for all those involved. It may be the biggest shot, the biggest goal, the biggest touchdown of their career, so I consider it my responsibility to do the best job I can in calling that moment for them. I’m sure I’ll be nervous for about the first 10 minutes, but I think I’ll be able to look to my right and see AJ, the gold medalist and an incredible analyst who covers the NHL on the regular; look down and see the spark plug that is Kendall inside the glass, smiling and laughing with all of these guys who have so much respect for her because of the gold medal she won a couple of years ago and the work she’s done in the NHL since. I know [Kathryn Tappen] and Jen [Botterill] are such pros back in the studio, and we can’t forget [director] Lisa [Seltzer] and [producer] Rene [Hatlelid], [producer] Kaitlin [Urka], and all the people who do this every single day. Knowing that I’ve got all of them around me supporting me, I think is going to take the nerves down.

“I’m guessing about halfway through the first period it’s going to start feeling pretty special to get to be a part of this day and this moment and getting to work with such incredible talented pros who live and breathe this sport. I feel pretty honored and humbled and grateful to get to be a part of this game and to get to work with these women for this day.”

Q. Who were your broadcasting heroes?

SCOTT: “Al Michaels was one of them, so it’s fun that he’s such a big voice when it comes to a moment in hockey history. I just love his friendly delivery and his demeanor and how it isn’t about him and that’s really what I try to pride myself on as a play-by-play announcer — get in, say what you need to say, and say it as succinctly as possible and then get out of the way and let your analysts and the game itself shine. Beth Mowins has been a huge role model and mentor of mine over the past couple of years. 

“Those are a couple of my big ones and I could list 80 more people that I’ve come to know and respect over the past few years. Those are the voices that I look up to and I’m looking forward to hopefully making them proud this weekend.”

Q. Since you’ve started calling games, how have you see the growth of women in production roles?

SCOTT: “I haven’t seen as many as I would like. It was actually two years ago — and I’ve been doing this for over 15 years now — calling an A-10 women’s basketball game for NBC. It was the first time I walked over to the [production] truck and realized that we had a female producer, a female technical director and I also had a female analyst that day. We just kind of looked around and I said, ‘Have any of you gotten to be a part of a broadcast like this before?’ And we all kind of looked around and said I think this might be the first time. Up to this point, I’ve worked with three female producers in my entire career and one female director.

“Rene is the fourth female producer I’ve worked with and Lisa is going to be just the second female director that I work with. That is one of the big things that I’m hoping I have a moment to highlight on Sunday. That’s something that I tell young kids all the time when I speak to colleges or when I speak on panels, that I know it probably sounds weird coming from someone who is on air encouraging you to look into other aspects of the industry. But I often wonder because I was told earlier in my career that I would make a great producer because I like being in charge and I’m pretty good at multi-tasking. Things have worked out on this side for me, but I often wonder because it sure looks fun getting to be part of the madness that is being in the control room or in the truck during a broadcast. I hope that we can highlight that on Sunday and encourage more young women to get into that aspect of the industry.”

Q. What do you want young girls and women to take away from watching Sunday’s broadcast and seeing you, AJ and Kendall on the call?

SCOTT: “I’m hoping that they take away that they can do this. That calling a game, analyzing a game, directing a game, producing a game, shooting a game, I’m hoping that they turn off the television on Sunday night thinking, ‘Wow, that was never something I thought I could do before, but I think I can do that.’ That’s one of the reasons, in my opinion, that we are still seeing such slow growth when it comes to women calling and analyzing sports because it starts when you’re a kid. You go to most of the college radio and television stations around the country and they’re still predominantly male because you’ve got to see somebody doing what you want to do when you’re a kid and have that seed planted early on to be able to go and then learn the skills early enough in life to then be prepared to call moments and games like Sunday. 

“That’s what I’m hoping that the young girls watching will take away. And I’m also hoping that the young boys will take that away, too, that they will see strong, prepared, intelligent, funny women on television calling this sport that they love and they maybe grow up thinking as well, ‘Wow, yeah, women can do this too,’ and that will impact the way that they see their sisters or girlfriends or wives or moms or whoever the women are in their lives and will maybe give them a different perspective too.”

The first-of-its-kind broadcast will be in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, which dates back over 100 years. The broadcast will highlight women who have made their mark on hockey, and sports in general, with the hopes to inspire future generations of women to excel on the ice and behind the scenes.

Sunday night’s coverage will also be surrounded by On Her Turf, NBC Sports’ female empowerment brand. The broadcast will include a number of features highlighting women in hockey during pre-game and intermissions, with custom in-game graphic integration and social coverage.

————

Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.