The Boston Bruins will go for their second trip to the Stanley Cup Finals in the last three years tonight in front of a raucous crowd in the Garden. The cameras of the NBC Sports Network will be live at 8 PM ET for Game 4 of the NHL’s Eastern Conference Finals, with the Pittsburgh Penguins hoping for to keep alive and at least get the series back to the Steel City.
Hockey is the highlight of Friday’s daily sports schedule, but baseball brings the volume, and at both the major league and college level. The St. Louis Cardinals lead the Cincinnati Reds by three games in the National League Central, and the two rivals will play the opener of a weekend series. Game time is 7 PM ET and it will be shown to the country by MLB Network. These same two teams get the Sunday Night showcase on ESPN, so after last week’s media focus on the Red Sox-Yankees, the Midwest gets its due this time around.
College baseball has pared its field down to 16 teams, and this weekend will be the time for settling which eight move on to Omaha for the College World Series. This is done by a series of “super-regionals.” Unlike last weekend, when four teams would play double-elimination, the super-regional is just mano-a-mano. Best-of-three to see who punches their ticket to the CWS.
Four of the supers begin today. The focal series is LSU-Oklahoma, where the Tigers are ranked #3 in the country. This game starts at 7 PM ET on ESPN. The other trio of series will be part of an all-day event on ESPN2 that begins at 1 PM ET and runs in succession. Please note that North Carolina, the #1 team in the nation, doesn’t begin until tomorrow.
TheSportsNotebook will be back later on with some NBA commentary, breaking down Game 1 of the Finals and looking at what it might mean going forward. NHL analysis was updated yesterday, and MLB coverage will be getting a fresh installment on the National League at some point over the weekend.