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Anaheim and Buffalo open NHL season in Helsinki

NHL.com @NHL

HELSINKI (AP) - The crowd will be hoping for many goals from two of Finland's top offensive players.

Anaheim and Buffalo both hope their defenses are what really shine.

The Ducks take on the Sabres in their regular-season opener in Helsinki on Friday as part of the NHL's annual European tour, with Anaheim's Finnish veterans Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu the main attraction.

But it's the defensive side that is the main focus for both teams, who lacked consistency in the back last year and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs.

Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle says the Ducks' main goal is "to be a better defensive hockey club this year. We have to start from the beginning. We can't play catch up in the NHL."

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