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NHL TV schedule starts off in England, offers more games

The opening game of the regular season on Sept. 29 will have the Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks facing the Los Angeles Kings at O2 Arena in London, as the league begins it's 90th season in the city where the original Cup was made more than a century ago.

The game will air on CBC at 12 noon ET.

It is the first of 85 games to be broadcast on Hockey Night In Canada, up from 81 last season.

TSN will have 70 games. Forty will feature Canadian-based teams, up from 36 last year.

The NHL and its broadcasters announced their TV schedules on Wednesday, with more games on HDTV, and a spotlight on Canadian teams and on the popular Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The CBC, in its 55th year of broadcasting games and armed with a new six-year agreement with the NHL, returns to Canada on Oct. 4 with a doubleheader featuring Toronto at Ottawa and Philadelphia at Calgary.

TSN starts off Oct. 3 with Ottawa at Toronto.

NBC also returns with its Game of the Week on Jan. 20 and will makes its first trip to Canada to show the New York Rangers at Montreal on Feb. 3. The American network will have a flexible schedule for its nine Sunday broadcasts, so it can select the most attractive game from a choice of four each week. Their picks will be announced 13 days in advance.

TSN also has four "flexible" games on Sundays in March and April.

In French, RDS will have all of the Montreal Canadiens games plus a selection of other matches.

Highlights of the schedules include:

-The CBC will have seven triple-headers, up one from last year, and will have doubleheaders all season. They will also have 10 afternoon games, up from seven last season. TSN has eight doubleheaders.

-Crosby's Penguins will appear 13 times on TSN and seven times on CBC.

-TSN will air each Canadian team at least five times. Montreal leads with 13 games, followed by seven for Toronto, six each for Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa and five for Vancouver. It will also have a slate of regional Toronto games that is to be announced later.

-Border teams Buffalo and Detroit will appear seven and four times respectively on TSN.

-The CBC's Hall of Fame Game day Nov. 10 has Ottawa at Montreal, the Rangers at Toronto and Edmonton at Calgary.

-The CBC also has the all-star game Jan. 27 from Atlanta.

-CBC and TSN will each show games in the first three rounds of playoffs, with CBC exclusive for the Stanley Cup final.

-In the U.S., Versus will show 57 regular season games, plus some playoff games.


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