Some Caps fans in the dark, best bars to watch Game 7

Washington Capitals left wing Jason Chimera, right, celebrates a goal against the New York Rangers with teammates defenseman Karl Alzner, center, and left wing Alexander Semin (28) in the second period of Game 6 of a second-round NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoff series in Washington, Wednesday, May 9, 2012. The Capitals defeated the Rangers 2-1. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

John Aaron,

WASHINGTON – The Capitals are getting ready for a decisive Game 7 against the Rangers in New York Saturday night.

But some fans complain of being left in the dark after watching the Caps on local television all year.

If the Caps’ games happened to vanish from the TV listings recently, it’s all because of the blockbuster deal the NHL agreed to with NBC last year.

Under the contract, first round games of the Stanley Cup Playoffs could be shown on local sports networks, which included Comcast SportsNet in the D.C. area.

But the League’s 10 year, $2 billion contract gives exclusive broadcast rights to NBC after the first round, which is why second round games have been shown on NBC Sports Network, CNBC, or NBC Broadcast. NBC Sports Network had previously been known as Versus.

Saturday, the Caps are set to play on NBC Sports Network, so if you don’t get the channel, check with your television provider.

Comcast and Verizon say the channel is included for the vast majority of their customers (only customers who have the most basic plans, which include broadcast stations and a few others, do not get the channel).

But customers of DirecTV, Dish Network, Cox, or RCN may have to upgrade to a sports and entertainment package to get the channel.

So where are the die-hard Caps fans going to be watching the match-up Saturday? Fans shared the best viewing spots in the Metro.

Fans can also opt to listen to the game on our sister station, 1500 AM.

WTOP’s Megan Cloherty contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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