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Kings, Ducks to begin 2009-10 season at home

Each team will begin its season on Oct. 3.

July 16, 2009|Helene Elliott

The NHL's 2009-10 season will open Oct. 1, but the Kings and Ducks will each open at home on Oct. 3, with the Kings playing host to the Phoenix Coyotes at Staples Center and the Ducks facing the San Jose Sharks at the Honda Center in a rematch of their first-round playoff series of last spring.

The Kings, who haven't opened a season at Staples Center since 2002-03, will start with three straight home games before leaving for a six-game trip to face St. Louis, the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers, Detroit, Columbus and Dallas.

The Ducks, who have never opened on a Saturday at home, will play only one home game before taking a four-game trip to play Minnesota, Boston, Philadelphia and the Rangers. They will then return home for six straight games.

The Ducks will play six Saturday home games this season, a move away from their traditional Sunday night home dates, although they'll still have seven Sunday games. A club spokesman said the shift was made in response to fan requests for more Saturday home dates.

The defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will play at Anaheim on Nov. 3 and at Los Angeles on Nov. 5.

The season will end April 11, extended slightly later than usual to accommodate the Olympic break. The NHL will halt operations from Feb. 15 to March 1 to allow players to represent their homelands in the Vancouver Winter Games.

The NHL also announced that Fenway Park will be the site of the Winter Classic game on Jan. 1. The Philadelphia Flyers will face the Boston Bruins in a game scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Pacific time.

The game will be televised nationally by NBC, which on Wednesday said it had extended its over-the-air rights deal with the NHL through the 2010-11 season.

The NHL doesn't get a rights fee from the network, but the two share profits from the broadcasts.

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helene.elliott@latimes.com

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