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Why are the Dallas Stars playing a dramatic Game 7 in the middle of an afternoon on a Friday?

You’ve maybe waited for this moment for a while: the chance to watch the Stars break through the second-round, Game 7 curse.

So the Stars-Avalanche game Friday should have been right up your alley. Until you saw the game was starting at 3 p.m. And then you saw it was broadcast on USA Network.

You can blame the Vancouver Canucks.

When Vancouver forced a Game 7 against Vegas by winning Game 6 on Thursday night, they secured playing at night on Friday. When the NHL rescheduled the second round following the two-day walkout, they gave the Canucks and Golden Knights a back to back to finish the series, presumably to be able to open the Western Conference Finals on Sunday.

There was not a chance the NHL would ask those teams to play an afternoon game after playing late last night. Once the NHL scheduled that Game 6/7 back to back (combined with the Pacific Time Zone home markets, and the Canadian TV ratings for Sportsnet), that series was getting the late game Friday.

Previously in Edmonton, they’ve had multiple games on the same day, but usually require 90 minutes between games to disinfect the benches and common areas. All four teams in Edmonton have been using their own dressing room throughout the second round (the Stars are in the NHL visitors room, while the Avalanche are using the WHL home room).

Add in that the NHL wanted to safeguard against a possible overtime game in the first game of the day, and the result is a wide gap between the 3 p.m. start for Dallas-Colorado and the 8 p.m. start for Vegas-Vancouver.

Because the Stars are in the early game, they got pushed to USA Network.

It’s Kentucky Derby weekend, which means horse racing is on NBC and NBC Sports. The Derby is Saturday, but the Kentucky Oaks is Friday and the NBCSN will air races from 3-6 p.m. That’s why the hockey game got bumped to USA Network.

The network will do the same thing on Sept. 19, when it airs South Florida-Notre Dame while the golf US Open is on NBC. The conflict likely wasn’t something foreseen when the Kentucky Derby was rescheduled from the first week of May, and when the NHL playoffs began in Canada.

How to tune in to USA Network in North Texas

AT&T U-verse 124

AT&T TV 242

DirecTV 242

Dish 105

Fios 550

Frontier 550

Spectrum (Dallas) 46

Spectrum (FW) 61

Find more Stars stories from The Dallas Morning News here.

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