Leafs up first, maybe second

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

The Battle of Ontario could get off to an ugly start.

While the Senators will open the season on Wednesday, Oct. 5 against the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre, it's believed Ottawa is trying to arrange a home-and home series with its much-hated rival to kick off the 2005-06 campaign.

Though the club was tentatively scheduled to host the Canadiens on Oct. 8 at the Corel Centre -- which is expected to be renamed Scotia Place before the season begins -- it appears the Leafs could be the opponent.

The NHL wants to take advantage of its most heated rivalries in wake of the lockout and having the Senators play the Leafs in a back-to-back series on Hockey Night in Canada only makes sense.

The full NHL schedule will be released tomorrow.


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