NHL playoffs preview: Penguins hoping to bring another Stanley Cup home to Pittsburgh

NHL playoffs preview: Penguins hoping to bring another Stanley Cup home to Pittsburgh
(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the start of the Stanley Cup Qualifying Round just days away, the excitement is growing among Penguins fans and the players.

Thursday was a rare off day for the Pens as they gear up for Game 1 of the best-of-five series against the Montreal Canadiens.

Game 1 against Montreal is set for Saturday, Aug. 1 at 8 p.m., and you can get complete coverage right here on Channel 11! Our pregame coverage starts at 7 p.m.

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It’s been a long time coming, and captain Sidney Crosby said the team definitely wants to bring another Stanley Cup home for the fans of Pittsburgh.

“I think everybody’s gonna be excited to see hockey,” said Crosby. “So many things change and kind of our sense of normalcy. With things being much different here, to kind of bring that back a little bit with hockey and sports and to be able to win, you know for the city of Pittsburgh, would be unbelievable.”

While the Penguins are favored, they are also wary. The Canadiens are young but not totally bereft of experience. Goaltender Carey Price is a six-time All-Star. Captain Shea Weber reached the Cup Final in 2017 while playing for Nashville.

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But Pittsburgh is healthy for the first time in months. All-Star forward Jake Guentzel’s season seemed to be over when he underwent shoulder surgery on Dec. 31. Now he will be out there next to Crosby on Pittsburgh’s first line looking to recapture the sense of chemistry that has worked so well for the two cerebral stars since Guentzel splashed onto the scene in 2017.

Then again, it’s a short series being played in an empty arena in a “bubble” designed to help the NHL pull this off. It’s going to be memorable. And it’s going to be weird.

“We’re all in uncharted water here,” Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan said. “That’s part of what makes it exciting.”

The full TV coverage schedule for the first few games league-wide is below:

Sat., Aug. 1

  • Game 1 – Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers NBCSN Noon
  • Game 1 – Chicago vs. Edmonton NBC 3 p.m.
  • Game 1 – Florida vs. N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 4 p.m.
  • Game 1 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh NBC 8 p.m.
  • Game 1 – Winnipeg vs. Calgary NBCSN 10:30 p.m.

Sun., Aug. 2

  • Game 1 – Arizona vs. Nashville USA Network 2 p.m.
  • Round Robin – Boston vs. Philadelphia NBC 3 p.m.
  • Round Robin – St. Louis vs. Colorado NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
  • Game 1 – Columbus vs. Toronto NBCSN 8 p.m.
  • Game 1 – Minnesota vs. Vancouver NBCSN 10:30 p.m.

Mon., Aug. 3

  • Game 2 – Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers NBCSN Noon
  • Game 2 – Winnipeg vs. Calgary NBCSN 2:30 p.m.
  • Round Robin – Washington vs. Tampa Bay NBCSN 4 p.m.
  • Round Robin – Dallas vs. Vegas NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Chicago vs. Edmonton NBCSN 10:30 p.m.

Tues., Aug. 4

  • Game 2 – Florida vs. N.Y. Islanders NBCSN Noon
  • Game 2 – Arizona vs. Nashville NBCSN 2:30 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Columbus vs. Toronto NBCSN 4 p.m.
  • Game 3 – Winnipeg vs. Calgary NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
  • Game 3 – Carolina vs. N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
  • Game 2 – Minnesota vs. Vancouver USA Network 10:30 p.m.

Wed., Aug. 5

  • Game 3 – Florida vs. N.Y. Islanders NBCSN Noon
  • Game 3 – Arizona vs. Nashville NBCSN 2:30 p.m.
  • Round Robin – Tampa Bay vs. Boston NBCSN 4 p.m.
  • Round Robin – Colorado vs. Dallas NBCSN 6:30 p.m.
  • Game 3 – Montreal vs. Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
  • Game 3 – Chicago vs. Edmonton NBCSN 10:30 p.m.

NOTE: The Associated Press contributed information for this story.

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