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Season-high 14 games slated for NHL's 'Super Saturday'

NHL.com @NHL
NEW YORK -- Saturday, October 6 is the NHL's busiest day of the season with 14 games scheduled, involving 28 of the League's 30 teams. Highlighting the numerous storylines are home openers, significant milestones, intriguing individual match-ups, family ties, 'Original Six' contests and rematches from the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs.

Fast Facts

* All start times are between 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Eastern time. When the puck drops for the Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks game at 8:30 p.m., ET, there will be 11 games happening simultaneously.

* The games will span four time zones, from the northeast to south Florida, southern California, the midwest and western Canada.

* The San Jose Sharks and the Colorado Avalanche are the only teams not in action - they meet in Denver in the only game on the schedule Sunday.

* The Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, New York Islanders, Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals play their home openers.

* Approximately 850,000 fans are expected to follow the day's top stories, real-time scores, statistics and highlights on NHL.com.

* 560 NHL players from 18 different countries will see action.

NHL.com will be the place to be for all the info. Not only will there be real-time updates on all the games, but NHL.com’s Evan Grossman will be blogging live from the NHL “war room” in Toronto, watching all the games along with NHL Vice Presidents Colin Campbell, Mike Murphy and the Hockey Operations staff.
* The games will be overseen by 56 officials, 28 referees and 28 linesmen. Virtually the entire League referee staff will be working, as just three referees -- Kerry Fraser, Kevin Pollock and Ian Walsh -- have the night off. Two other referees, Mike Leggo and Dan O'Rourke, are injured.

Broadcast Coverage

* Hockey Night in Canada on CBC will broadcast a doubleheader, providing regional coverage of Montreal at Toronto and the New York Rangers at Ottawa at 7 p.m., ET, followed by Vancouver vs. Calgary coast-to-coast at 10 p.m., ET. French-language viewers will see the Montreal-Toronto game on RDS. HD Net will bring the Anaheim vs. Pittsburgh game to a national U.S. audience at 7:30 p.m., ET. Subscribers to the League's Center Ice and Center Ice Online packages will see all 14 games (subject to local blackout restrictions).

* There will be a total of 27 national and local television broadcasts of the 14 games.

Among the prominent storylines to follow:

St. Louis Blues at Los Angeles Kings

Johnson & Johnson: Two highly-touted rookies from the recent wave of U.S.-born blue-chip NHL prospects meet for the first time when defensemen Erik Johnson of the St. Louis Blues, 19, and Jack Johnson of the Los Angeles Kings, 20, (they are not related) face off in the Kings' home-opener.

* Both were high NHL draft picks; Erik was selected first overall in 2006, Jack third overall in 2005.

* Jack (Indianapolis, IN) attended Minnesota prep school power Shattuck St. Mary’s in 2003-04 and attended the University of Michigan (2005-06, 2006-07); Erik (Bloomington, MN) played high school hockey in the Twin Cites area at Academy of Holy Angels and attended the University of Minnesota (2006-07).

* Both played for the USA Hockey National Team Development Program based in Ann Arbor, MI -- Jack from 2003-05 and Erik from 2004-06 -- and represented the United States at the World Junior Championships in 2006 (fourth) and 2007 (bronze).

All In The Family: Son Brady Murray, a rookie forward on the Kings, meets dad Andy Murray, the Blues' head coach. Andy is the all-time Kings coaching wins leader and was the coach when Brady was drafted by Los Angeles in 2003. There have been three instances of a father coaching in an NHL game against his son (coach listed first; dates and clubs refer to first career meeting): Bob Johnson, Calgary, vs. Mark Johnson, Hartford (Oct. 21, 1982); Bill Dineen, Philadelphia, vs. Gord Dineen, Ottawa (Feb. 9, 1993) and Rick Wilson, Dallas, vs. Landon Wilson, Phoenix (Feb. 26, 2002).

Anaheim Ducks at Pittsburgh Penguins

The Kids Are Alright: The top pick in the 2005 Entry Draft, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, meets the 2005's #2 pick, Anaheim rookie forward Bobby Ryan. This game is a showcase of elite under-23 players (Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan vs. Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, Marc-Andre Fleury, Sidney Crosby and Jordan Staal).

Boston Bruins at Phoenix Coyotes

Different Paths, Same Achievement: Coyotes rookie Peter Mueller and Bruins sophomore Phil Kessel chose different paths to the NHL, but both have been successful. They were teammates on the USA Hockey National Team Development Program's Under-17 team in 2003-04 and the Under-18 squad in 2004-05. Thereafter, Kessel chose the college route, earning WCHA Rookie of the Year honors at the University of Minnesota in 2006, while Mueller played major junior hockey with the Everett (Wash.) Silvertips, capturing WHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2006. They went fifth and eighth, respectively, in the 2006 draft.

Detroit Red Wings at Chicago Blackhawks

Familiar Rivals: The Blackhawks host the Red Wings in the 690th all-time regular-season meeting of these 'Original Six' clubs; no clubs have faced each other as many times.

Chelios Milestone: A Chicago native, 45-year-old Chris Chelios will tie Red Wings legend Alex Delvecchio (1,549) for eighth place on the NHL's all-time games list.

Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs

Familiar Rivals: Montreal plays Toronto for the 683rd time in NHL history. Toronto knocked Montreal out of playoff contention in the final game of the regular season last year.

Philadelphia Flyers at Edmonton Oilers

Return of the Captain: Former Oilers captain Jason Smith returns "home" to Edmonton as captain of the rebuilt Flyers.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Minnesota Wild

The Streak Continues: The Wild enter the game having sold out all 278 home games in club history, including 247 regular season games, 21 preseason contests and 10 playoff games at Xcel Energy Center.

Dallas Stars at Nashville Predators

Chasing History: The Stars' Mike Modano resumes his chase for all-time U.S. points record in the building where he passed Joe Mullen as the all-time U.S.-born goals leader last March. Modano needs six points to tie Phil Housley (1,232) for the all-time points mark.

Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames

Florida Reunion: Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo faces new Flames head coach Mike Keenan, his old coach and GM in Florida.

Buffalo Sabres at New York Islanders

Playoff Rematch: This is the Islanders' home opener, a rematch of last season's first-round playoff series and the second game of the clubs' home-and-home series. They meet in the Sabres' home opener tonight.

New York Rangers at Ottawa Senators

Chance to Settle Old Score: The Rangers, led by their big off-season signings of former Sabres' Chris Drury and former Devils' Scott Gomez, meet the defending Eastern Conference champion Senators. Ottawa eliminated Drury and Gomez's clubs en route to the Stanley Cup Final last season.

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals

New Faces: The Capitals' home opener gives Washington fans a chance to see the Verizon Center debut of heralded newcomers Nicklas Backstrom, Michael Nylander, Viktor Kozlov and Tom Poti.

Atlanta Thrashers at Tampa Bay Lightning

Southeast Rivals: The Thrashers and Lightning dueled for the Southeast Division title throughout the 2006-07 season. The Thrashers posted a franchise-record 97 points, four more than the second-place Lightning, to capture their first division crown.

New Jersey Devils at Florida Panthers

Road Trip: The Panthers' home opener also is the Devils' second of nine consecutive road games to start the season under new head coach Brent Sutter.


NHL Broadcast Schedule for Saturday, October 6:

Time (ET)  Game                                 Nat'l TV    Local TV                       Out-Of-Mkt. Pkg. *

7 p.m.        Montreal at Toronto         CBC, RDS                                       NHL Center Ice
7 p.m.        NY Rangers at Ottawa    CBC, MSG (NYR)                           NHL Center Ice
7 p.m.        Buffalo at NY Islanders  MSG (Buf), FSNY (NYI)                  NHL Center Ice
7 p.m.        Carolina at Washington FSS (Car), CSN-W (Wsh)             NHL Center Ice
7 p.m.        New Jersey at Florida     FSNY2 (N.J), FSF (Fla)                 NHL Center Ice
7:30 p.m.  Anaheim at Pittsburgh    HD Net    Prime (Ana), FSP (Pit) NHL Center Ice
7:30 p.m.  Atlanta at Tampa Bay      SPSO (Atl), SUN (T.B.)                  NHL Center Ice
8 p.m.        Philly at Edmonton          CSN (Phi), PPV (Edm)                  NHL Center Ice
8 p.m.        Dallas at Nashville          KDFI (Dal), FSS (Nsh)                  NHL Center Ice
8 p.m.        Columbus at Minnesota FSO (CBJ), KSTC (Min)                NHL Center Ice
8:30 p.m.  Detroit at Chicago            FSD (Det)                                        NHL Center Ice
10 p.m.      Vancouver at Calgary      CBC                                                 NHL Center Ice
10 p.m.      Boston at Phoenix           NESN (Bos), AZTV (Phx)              NHL Center Ice
10:30 p.m. St. Louis at L.A.                KPLR (StL), FSW (L.A.)                NHL Center Ice

* subject to local blackout restrictions
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