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A numerical look at the 2010-11 NHL schedule

by John Kreiser
The 2010-11 NHL schedule was announced Tuesday. The season begins Oct. 7 with four games in North America and one in Europe, and ends with five contests on April 10. Each team will play 82 games -- 24 against teams in its own division, 40 against non-division teams in its own conference, and the other 18 against teams from the other conference.

Here's a look at some of the more interesting numbers for the upcoming season:

0 -- Games scheduled for Oct. 31. Halloween is the only night during the regular season, except the Christmas and All-Star Game breaks, on which no games are scheduled.

1 -- New arenas opening in the NHL this season. The Pittsburgh Penguins will inaugurate the Consol Energy Center on Oct. 7 with a game against the Philadelphia Flyers

2 -- Outdoor games on the schedule. Pittsburgh will play Washington at Heinz Field on Jan. 1 in the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, and the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens will face off in the Heritage Classic at McMahon Stadium in Calgary on Feb. 20.

3 -- Teams that serve as the visitor for three home openers, the most in the NHL. Washington (Atlanta, Boston, Carolina), Detroit (Chicago, Dallas, Phoenix) and Atlanta (Los Angeles, San Jose, Tampa Bay) all will be the party of the second part for three opponents' first home games of the new season.

3 -- Nights on which only one game is scheduled -- all in the month of November. Phoenix is at Detroit on Nov. 8 and hosts Edmonton on Nov. 23. The Oilers then return home and host Colorado on Nov. 25, the only game scheduled on the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.

6 -- Teams that will open their seasons in Europe. Carolina and Minnesota will play twice in Helsinki, Finland; Columbus and San Jose will face each other twice in Stockholm, Sweden; and Boston will meet Phoenix twice in Prague, Czech Republic.

7 -- Afternoon home games for the Boston Bruins, the most of any team. Add in three road matinees and the Bruins will be playing a total of 10 games that start before 5 p.m. local time.

10 -- Longest road trip by any team. The Los Angeles Kings play 10 in a row away from the Staples Center from Feb. 1-25. To help compensate, they have an eight-game homestand from Dec. 30 through Jan. 15.

12 -- Longest homestand for any team. The Tampa Bay Lightning have a dozen games in a row at the St. Pete Times Forum from Jan. 23 to Feb. 25.

13 -- Games scheduled on Nov. 24 and 26, the days before and after U.S. Thanksgiving. The Nov. 26 schedule will provide fans with more than 12 hours of action -- the day starts at noon ET when Carolina visits Boston and finishes after midnight ET with San Jose visiting Vancouver.

14 -- Most games on one day in the 2010-11 season. All but two of the NHL's 30 teams will square off on Oct. 30, the busiest night of the season.

20 -- Days into the season before the last home opener. Carolina, one of the teams that is starting the season in Europe, doesn't play its first game at the RBC Center until the Washington Capitals come to town on Oct. 27.

22 -- Back-to-back games on the Buffalo Sabres' schedule, the most of any team. Carolina has 21 and the New York Islanders have 20. Dallas has only 12 pairs of back-to-backs and the Kings have 13.

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