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Regular season schedule announced for Winnipeg NHL franchise

by Staff Writer / Winnipeg Jets
True North Sports & Entertainment Limited, in conjunction with the National Hockey League, today released the schedule for the upcoming 2011-12 regular season, the first season in the history of Winnipeg's newly acquired NHL franchise.

In the franchise's first ever home opening game at MTS Centre, Winnipeg will host the storied Montreal Canadiens on Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011 at 4:00 p.m. CT. They will then head out on the road for a pair of games against Winnipeg native Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday, Oct. 13th and then the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday, Oct. 15th before returning home to face the Pittsburgh Penguins at MTS Centre on Monday, Oct. 17th.

Start times are indicated on the schedule and vary depending on broadcast requirements. Television broadcast schedules have yet to be released.

There will be seven all-Canadian matchups at MTS Centre during the 2011-12 season. Winnipeg hosts the Canadiens on Oct. 9 and Dec. 22, Toronto Maple Leafs on Dec. 31 and Feb. 7, Ottawa Senators on Nov. 29 and March 26, and Edmonton Oilers on Feb. 27. Overall, the new NHL franchise will face Canadian teams on 15 different occasions.

Winnipeg's NHL franchise will be aligned in the Southeast Division for the 2011-12 season. As a result, Winnipeg will face division rivals the Washington Capitals, Tampa Bay Lightning, Carolina Hurricanes, and Florida Panthers a total of six times each, with three games each played at MTS Centre.

Playing in the Eastern Conference, Winnipeg will face the remaining teams in the East four times each, including two each at MTS Centre. Winnipeg will host the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins twice, for the first time on Nov. 26 and again on Feb. 17.

Winnipeg's longest homestand during the 2011-12 regular season begins on Feb. 17 when they host the Bruins and lasts for eight games ending on Mar. 5 against the Buffalo Sabres. The team will take to the road for a season-high seven consecutive games beginning on Oct. 27 at the Philadelphia Flyers and concluding Nov. 8 at Buffalo. The final game of the 2011-12 regular season is a home date at MTS Centre versus the Tampa Bay Lightning on Apr. 7.
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