The Washington Times - September 19, 2011, 02:49PM

Sellout crowds have become a norm for Capitals hockey and are all but certainly going to continue for 2011-12. That makes television coverage important to a lot of fans, and it won’t be hard to watch games from home – thanks to NBC/Versus nationally and Comcast SportsNet locally.

CSN announced Monday it will air 71 of the Caps’ 82 regular-season games. NBC and Versus (to be known as NBC Sports Network in 2012) will exclusively air the other 11.

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The tricky part is that 10 Caps games are – as of now – scheduled to be on CSN+, not CSN proper. But that’s contingent on the NBA season being played and the Wizards. The network’s goal is to split coverage equally between the Caps and Wizards, but if the NBA lockout washes out the season, the Caps games will all be moved to CSN.

If there is any kind of college football or basketball game that conflicts, it will be bumped to CSN+, not the Caps.

It appears to be increasingly unlikely that the NBA season will start on time, and many think it won’t be played at all. But if the players and owners come to an agreement, Caps games on CSN+ will be available in HD to a vast majority of fans in the area. Comcast, obviously, carries the HD feed, as does Verizon Fios, Metrocast, Cox and Dish Network. It’s also possible DirecTV will soon have the HD version of CSN plus.

Only a few small providers in the area don’t feature CSN+ in HD.