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Kings to open title defense vs. Sharks

<p>New York, NY (Sports Network) - The reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will host the San Jose Sharks as part of opening night of the 2014-15 NHL season, the league announced Saturday.</p>

New York, NY (Sports Network) - The reigning Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings will host the San Jose Sharks as part of opening night of the 2014-15 NHL season, the league announced Saturday.

The NHL revealed the home openers for all of its 30 teams, with the entire season schedule to be released on Sunday.

Three other games will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 8 in addition to the San Jose-Los Angeles matchup. Two of them involve Canadian clubs, with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens renewing their rivalry in Ontario and the Calgary Flames welcoming the Vancouver Canucks to the Saddledome.

Also on tap for opening night is a matchup involving the Boston Bruins and the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

The Kings rallied from a three games-to-none deficit to oust the Sharks in this past season's Western Conference quarterfinals, then posted series wins over Anaheim and Chicago before downing the New York Rangers in five games to claim their second Stanley Cup in three years.

The Rangers will begin their home slate on Sunday, Oct. 12 with a clash against the Maple Leafs.

Another season opener involving 2014 playoff participants will take place on Oct. 9 at Minnesota's XCel Energy Center, where the Wild welcome the Colorado Avalanche in a rematch of a first-round showdown won by Minnesota in seven games. The teams will then square off in Denver two days later in the Avalanche's home lid-lifter.

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