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Blackhawks to face Flyers in NHL Global Series to open season

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Chicago seeks its third consecutive season-opening win.

Chicago Blackhawks v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Blackhawks will begin their 93rd season in franchise history Friday when they face the Flyers in Prague, Czech Republic, as part of the NHL Global Series.

It’s the first time in 10 years Chicago will start its season overseas. Back in 2009, the Blackhawks split a two-game set against the Panthers in Helsinki, Finland, then went on to defeat the Flyers in six games to win the Stanley Cup to end their 49-year championship drought.

Only Patrick Kane, Duncan Keith, Brent Seabrook and Jonathan Toews remain on the roster from that 2009-10 championship team. Kane scored a goal and an assist in each game, while Seabrook had two helpers and Keith had one in the second game against the Panthers, a 4-0 win.

For this year’s game, the Blackhawks are the road team and a win would end their 22-year regular-season road game skid against the Flyers. Chicago is 0-14-1 in that span in Philadelphia since Nov. 9, 1996.

The Blackhawks and Flyers are both looking to return to the playoffs this season with new coaching staffs. Chicago has missed the postseason the last two years, while Philadelphia has fallen short two of the last three years.

The Blackhawks made some roster changes this summer by acquiring forwards Ryan Carpenter, Alex Nylander, Andrew Shaw and Zack Smith and defensemen Calvin de Haan and Olli Maatta. De Haan, however, won’t play Friday due to a groin strain. Prospect Dennis Gilbert was recalled prior to the game to fill de Haan’s spot next to Slater Koekkoek, who is in for Connor Murphy (groin). Goaltender Corey Crawford will make his eight start in a season opener for Chicago.

The Flyers signed former Chicago prospect Kevin Hayes and defensemen Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun during the offseason. Philadelphia’s top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek returns. Carter Hart is back in net after a solid rookie season.

Voracek is the Flyers’ lone Czech-born player, while Chicago boasts two with forwards David Kampf and Dominik Kubalik. Voracek was teammates with Kubalik at the World Championship in May, where the Chicago winger was a breakout player before signing with the Blackhawks.

Andiamo Hawks

Chicago’s recent season openers

2018: 4-3 OT win at Ottawa

2017: 10-1 win vs. Pittsburgh

2016: 5-2 loss to St. Louis

2015: 3-2 loss to Rangers

2014: 3-2 SO win at Dallas

2013: 6-4 win vs. Washington

2013: 5-2 win at Los Angeles*

2011: 2-1 loss at Dallas

2010: 4-3 OT loss at Colorado



Nylander — Toews — Kane

DeBrincat — Strome — Shaw

Saad — Kampf — Kubalik

Caggiula — Carpenter — Smith

Keith — Gustafsson

Maatta — Seabrook

Gilbert — Koekkoek




GirouxHayes — Voracek

Lindblom — Couturier — Konecny

Van Riemsdyk — Laughton — Twarnyski

Raffl — Bunnaman — Pitlick

Provorov — Braun

Sanheim — Niskanen

Hagg — Gostisbehere



How to watch

When: 1 p.m. Friday

Where: 02 Arena; Prague, Czech Republic

TV: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network