NEW YORK (AP) - The Boston Bruins will begin defense of their Stanley Cup title against the Philadelphia Flyers as part of an opening night tripleheader on Oct. 6.
The NHL announced its schedule for the 2011-12 season on Thursday on the day off between the league's awards ceremony that took place in Las Vegas and the draft that begins on Friday.
Winnipeg, the new home of the former Atlanta Thrashers, returns to the NHL on Oct. 9 when the still unnamed team hosts the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal will also be a part of the opening night festivities when the Canadiens visit the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Western Conference champion Vancouver Canucks will close out the night when they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins to town.
The New York Rangers, Buffalo Sabres, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks will start their seasons over two days in Europe. A total of four games will be played in Stockholm, Helsinki, and Berlin, marking the first time the NHL will stage a game in Germany.