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Red Wings, Penguins get earlier start

NHL.com @NHL

NEW YORK (AP) - The NHL went against its previous plan, pushing up the start of the Stanley Cup finals to avoid a long layoff.

The league announced Wednesday night that Detroit will host Pittsburgh on Saturday night in Game 1 of the first championship rematch in 25 years.

Last week, the NHL said the finals would begin June 5 if both conference finals were not decided by Tuesday.

Plan B was put in place because NBC and the league didn't want to stunt the excitement about the matchup that has a potential to draw nontraditional viewers.

Detroit and Pittsburgh, though, will be forced to play on back-to-back days for the first time in the Cup finals since Montreal and Los Angeles in 1993.

Game 3 is Tuesday night in Pittsburgh.

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