NHL 2016-17: Crosby vs. McDavid Act 1 among games to watch
Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid are set to face each other for the first time and the NHL will take it outside in Winnipeg, Pittsburgh and St. Louis during the 2016-17 season.
There are 1,230 regular-season games coming up. Here are a few to circle on the calendar:
BANNER NIGHT, OCT. 13
The Pittsburgh Penguins will raise their Stanley Cup champions banner, the fourth in franchise history, to the rafters at the newly-renamed PPG Paints Arena before facing the Washington Capitals in their season opener. The Penguins beat the rival Capitals in six games in the second round, so it's a fresh scab for Washington, which is again a Cup favorite, too. Capitals right winger Justin Williams, a two-time champion with the Los Angeles Kings and the playoff MVP in 2014, is more worried about what happens after the banner goes up.
''Hopefully they'll be thinking about last year instead of this year and we can jump on them,'' Williams said.
SID VS. MCDAVID, NOV. 8
Forget about Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump. This is the Election Night matchup to watch. Although Crosby and McDavid will undoubtedly say the game is the Penguins against the Edmonton Oilers, the generational talents facing off for the first time is worth an extra spotlight on them as individual stars. McDavid's broken collarbone robbed viewers of a matchup during his rookie season, so an early-season showdown in Pittsburgh will have to do.
BLACK AND BLUE FRIDAY, NOV. 25
The New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers renew their time-tested rivalry on national television the day after Thanksgiving. Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers and Claude Giroux and the Flyers could be duking it out for playoff position in the Metropolitan Division, and this will be an early test.
WINTER CLASSIC, JAN. 2
St. Louis gets its turn in the outdoor rotation as the Blues host the rival Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium. It's the fifth outdoor game for the Blackhawks since 2009 and the Blues' first.
In the other outdoor games, the Winnipeg Jets host the Oilers in the Heritage Classic on Oct. 23, the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Detroit Red Wings in the Centennial Classic on Jan. 1 and the Penguins host the Flyers in the Stadium Series Feb. 25 at Heinz Field.
SUBBAN'S RETURN, MARCH 2
P.K. Subban has to wait until March to play his first game back in Montreal since a stunning June trade to the Nashville Predators. Former captain Shea Weber going back to Nashville on Jan. 3 is worth keeping an eye on, too, but Subban felt jilted by the deal and why it happened and could put on a show at Bell Centre against the Canadiens.
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