NHL announces 2010-2011 schedule

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NEW YORK | The Pittsburgh Penguins will open a new arena, and the Chicago Blackhawks will unfurl a long-awaited championship banner in the first week of the 2010-11 NHL season.

The league said Tuesday the Blackhawks will mark their first Stanley Cup title since 1961 on Oct. 9 when they host Detroit, a fellow Original Six member.

Pittsburgh, the 2009 Cup winner, will play its first game in the CONSOL Energy Center two nights earlier on NHL opening night against defending Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia. The Penguins had played at Mellon Arena since joining the NHL in 1967.

On New Year’s Day, the Penguins host the Winter Classic against Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at Heinz Field — home of the NFL’s Steelers.

For the fourth consecutive season, the NHL also will begin with games in Europe — this time with six teams. The Carolina Hurricanes will play two games against the Minnesota Wild in Helsinki, Finland; the Columbus Blue Jackets and San Jose Sharks will have a two-game set at Stockholm, Sweden; and the Boston Bruins and Phoenix Coyotes will play a pair in Prague, Czech Republic.

Those six games will be spread over the first four days of the season.

Once those clubs return to North America they will all play on Oct. 30 when 28 of the NHL’s 30 teams will be in action on the busiest day of the season. Only Vancouver and Edmonton will be off.

The Blackhawks will host the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 23 in the lone rematch of this year’s Stanley Cup finals. Just one week later, the NHL All-Star game will return after a one-year break because of the Vancouver Olympics. The Carolina Hurricanes will host the 58th edition of the midseason exhibition for the first time.

The regular season will end on April 10, and the Stanley Cup playoffs will begin three days later.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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