NHL Schedule 2011, Weekend Games To Watch: Winnipeg Jets Make Triumphant Return

The NHL's first full slate of weekend games is here. The Winnipeg Jets host their first home game since 1996 on Sunday, highlighting this weekend's lineup of matchups.

The first full weekend of NHL games is upon us, with several marquee matchups to watch. Perhaps none is more anticipated than Sunday's game between the Winnipeg Jets and the Montreal Canadiens.

Winnipeg will host its first home game since April 28, 1996, the last time the Jets played as a franchise before becoming the Phoenix Coyotes. Whether the artists formerly known as the Atlanta Thrashers will be any good remains to be seen, but if there is one universal truth in this world it is that hockey in Canada is never a bad thing. Game Time: Sunday, Oct. 9, 5:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network

The New York Rangers will face their second opponent from the Los Angeles area when they visit the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday in Stockholm, Sweden. The Rangers will have to go with a depleted defense, with Marc Staal on injured reserve with a concussion and Michael Sauer potentially out with a sprained shoulder. The Ducks hope to make a deeper run in the playoff this year behind last season's Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry. Game Time: Saturday, Oct. 9, 1:00 p.m. ET, Versus

The Buffalo Sabres, knocked out of the conference quarterfinals last year, are also hoping to make a deeper run in the playoffs. They face off Saturday against the Los Angeles Kings in Berlin, Germany. A talented young Kings squad has garnered whispers of Stanley Cup contention with the addition of Mike Richards in the offseason. Game Time: Saturday, 2:00 p.m. ET, TSN2

Last year's Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, kicking off a crowded slate of primetime games. The Bruins, behind goaltender and last year's Conn Smythe winner Tim Thomas, hope to become the first repeat Champions since the '98 Detroit Red Wings. Game Time: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, NHL Network

In the first of three all-Canada matchups on the weekend, the Ottawa Senators hit the road to take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in primetime on Saturday. Both teams are vying to make the playoffs this year, after missing the cut during the 2010-11 season. Both teams could use some good early-season fortune. Game Time: Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET, CBC

The Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Calgary Flames on Saturday. They will be without Sidney Crosby, however, whose indefinite status is in doubt due to chronic post-concussion symptoms. The Flames hope to begin their march towards a playoff birth Saturday behind a hopefully rejuvenated Jarome Iginla. Game Time: Saturday, 10:00p.m. ET, CBC

For more hockey coverage, stick with SB Nation NHL.

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