In ESPN National Hockey Night, the player is cast right straight into NHL action on his TV screen. Like most ESPN games, there is an exhibition mode, a season mode, and a playoff mode.
The AI of this game is very difficult, like a hockey equivalent of Super Bases Loaded. The side view makes it more tricky and the computer opponent can sneak in goals when the player thinks that he is secure in a tied game or in a game in which he is narrowly winning. Most of the notable NHL players from the 1990s are here complete with stats to make them more realistic.
Source: Wikipedia, "ESPN National Hockey Night (game)", available under the CC-BY-SA License.
This game is not to be confused with the game ESPN National Hockey Night which is for Playstation 2 and is a different game.