SHENZHEN, China -- The Boston Bruins and Calgary Flames arrived here Tuesday for the 2018 O.R.G. NHL China Games.
The Bruins and Flames are the third and fourth NHL teams to travel to the world's most populated country (approximately 1.3 billion people). The Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks played two preseason games in Beijing and Shanghai last year.
Boston and Calgary will play the first preseason game in Shenzhen at Universiade Sports Center on Saturday (2:30 a.m. ET; NHLN, SN). They will also play at Cadillac Arena in Beijing on Sept. 19 (7:30 a.m. ET; NBCSN, SN).
The Bruins and Flames each made the over 15-hour flight from their home cities Tuesday. The Bruins landed in Shenzhen at 5:30 p.m. local time and the Flames got in approximately two hours later.
Late in the Bruins flight, forward David Backes got on the plane's PA system pretending to be the captain and joked that forward Brad Marchand was in the process of setting a record for consecutive hours of sleep on a plane. Marchand was not awake to hear the announcement.
The Bruins and Flames will each practice at Universiade Sports Center on Thursday.
The Flames will skate at 10 a.m. local time (10 p.m. ET Wednesday). The Bruins will practice at 12:30 p.m. local time.
The off-ice celebration of the China Games begins Thursday with NHL Fan Fest at Coco Park Mall in Shenzhen. Flames alumni Lanny McDonald and Alex Tanguay, as well as the Stanley Cup, are scheduled to make appearances at Fan Fest.
In addition, Wayne Gretzky will be making appearances at the China Games in Shenzhen and Beijing.
Photo courtesy of Boston Bruins