Blackhawks to open next season at home against St. Louis Blues
(AP) - The Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins open the 2016-17 NHL season at home on Thursday, Oct. 13, against the Washington Capitals.
They'll raise their fourth Cup banner to the rafters of Consol Energy Center against their rivals, who they beat in the second round of the playoffs. The Penguins have eliminated the rival Capitals in each of their championship runs.
Four games mark the start of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 12: the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Ottawa Senators, the St. Louis Blues at the Chicago Blackhawks, the Calgary Flames at the Edmonton Oilers and the Los Angeles Kings at the Western Conference-champion San Jose Sharks.
Edmonton's opener will be the first regular-season game at its new arena, Rogers Place.
The Kings will host the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 14 as part of the NHL's commemoration of the 1967 expansion. The Kings, Flyers, Penguins, Blues and Dallas Stars are all celebrating their 50th seasons.
The season starts later because of the return of the World Cup of Hockey, which takes place Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto. The schedule will be more compressed than usual because of the World Cup and the bye week each team will have.
The rest of the schedule will be released Tuesday. It includes outdoor games in Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Toronto and Winnipeg.