Senators set for Wing ding

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:38 AM ET

After making a trek to Stockholm, the Senators will return home to face the NHL's version of Team Sweden.

While the full schedule won't be released until today, the NHL announced yesterday the Senators will open the home portion of their schedule against the defending Stanley Cup-champion Detroit Red Wings, led by Swedish captain Nick Lidstrom, Oct. 11 at Scotiabank Place.

The league confirmed the Senators and Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins will play back-to-back games Oct. 4-5 at the Globen Arena in Stockholm to start the season. Ottawa players will then get almost a week to recover from making the trek overseas.

Not only do the Wings boast Lidstrom in their Swedish-dominated lineup, they also have D Jonathan Ericsson, RW Johan Franzen, LW Tomas Holmstrom, D Niklas Kronwall, D Andreas Lilja, RW Mikael Samuelsson and LW Henrik Zetterberg.

The Wings also have former Senators winger Marian Hossa, who recently signed a one-year, $7.4-million deal as an unrestricted free agent.

There will also be a little more Canadian flavour on the schedule. Along with six games against Northeast Division rivals from Montreal and Toronto, the Senators will have a chance to see the Canadian teams in the Western Conference.

The Senators will play a home-and-home series against the Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Vancouver Canucks for the first time since 2003-04 season. All regular-season dates and the pre-season schedule will be released today.

LEAFS GIVE AWAY TICKETS

There were free Toronto Maple Leafs tickets to be had at the Air Canada Centre yesterday. Sadly for long-suffering fans of the team, there were no money-back guarantees for the 2008-09 season to go with them.

"We may be taking a step back to take three steps forward," Leafs GM Cliff Fletcher said bluntly, moments after helping announce the team's novel promotion for a free-ticket pre-season game in September. But with no significant In its own way, yesterday's promotion was a swift bit of marketing for the Leafs.

Hoping to fill their home rink with fans who rarely get the opportunity to see the Leafs live, the team added a fifth pre-season contest, a Sept. 22 date against the Sabres. The rest of the tickets will be distributed via various promotions.


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