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NHL teams begin home play on Oct. 7

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There is no place like home, so hockey fans should plan on heading to their team's arena beginning on Oct. 7, when the puck drops on the 2010-11 NHL season.

On Thursday, Oct. 7, the Pittsburgh Penguins will unveil the new Consol Energy Center to regular-season action against their Keystone State rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Also opening the season at home on Oct 7 are the Colorado Avalanche against the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks, the Edmonton Oilers hosting another "Battle of Alberta" against the Calgary Flames and the Toronto Maple Leafs facing their longtime "Original Six" rivals, the Montreal Canadiens, at the Air Canada Centre.

Four more teams will welcome their fans on Oct. 8. The Atlanta Thrashers host the Washington Capitals, the Detroit Red Wings welcome the Anaheim Ducks to Joe Louis Arena, the Dallas Stars come to Prudential Center in Newark to meet the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators welcome the Buffalo Sabres.

Saturday, Oct. 9 will see the Blackhawks raise their Stanley Cup banner to the United Center rafters prior to the home opener against the Red Wings. In Buffalo, the Sabres host the New York Rangers, while the Predators host the Ducks in Nashville, the Islanders host the Stars at Nassau Coliseum and the Blues host the Flyers. In addition Tampa Bay welcomes the Thrashers, the Canucks host the Kings and the Capitals open at home against the Devils.

The Calgary Flames welcome the 2010-11 season to the Pengrowth Saddledome on Oct. 10 when the Kings are in town. On Oct. 11, the Flyers will meet the Avalanche at the Wachovia Center.

On Oct. 12, the Thrashers come to Staples Center for the Kings' home opener.

The Canadiens will begin home play at Bell Centre on Oct. 13 against Tampa Bay, while the Ducks start home play the same night against the Canucks.

Two more teams, the Stars and Wild, begin home play on Oct. 14. The Stars host the Red Wings and the Wild faces the Oilers.

Oct. 15 sees the Columbus Blue Jackets host the Blackhawks and the New York Rangers face off against the Maple Leafs at Madison Square Garden.

The Florida Panthers face the cross-state rival Lightning in their home opener on Oct. 16, while the Coyotes will see a rematch of their 2010 playoff series with Detroit kick off their home schedule, also on Oct. 16, while San Jose commences home play against the Thrashers.

The last two home openers for the 2010-11 season come on Oct. 21 when the Boston Bruins play the Capitals at TD Garden and on Oct 27, when Carolina hosts the Caps.

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