The NHL announced the 2010-11 regular-season schedule today, and two dates stand out for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Penguins will open their brand new state-of-the-art arena when they host the interstate rival Philadelphia Flyers at CONSOL Energy Center Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7 p.m.
The other focal point will be a New Year’s Day showdown with Alex Ovechkin and the rival Washington Capitals in the NHL’s annual Bridgestone Winter Classic, which will be played at Heinz Field.
The Penguins’ schedule also features six contests against each Atlantic Division opponent and four games against the other 10 Eastern Conference teams.
The Penguins will play at least one game against each of the Western Conference teams, and will play two games (home-and-home) against three Western Conference clubs – Detroit, Phoenix and Columbus.
The regular starting time for evening home games at CONSOL Energy Center is 7 p.m.
Other schedule notables include:
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- A showdown with the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks Feb. 20 at United Center
- A western road trip to Dallas (Nov. 3), Anaheim (Nov. 5) and Phoenix (Nov. 6)
- Five straight road games from Feb. 25-March 5 – at Carolina, at Toronto in back-to-back games, at New Jersey and at Boston
- Nine home games against Western Conference opponents -- Vancouver (Nov. 17), Calgary (Nov. 27), Phoenix (Dec. 20), Minnesota (Jan. 8), Detroit (Jan. 18), Columbus (Feb. 8), Los Angeles (Feb. 10), San Jose (Feb. 23) and Edmonton (March 13).