On Friday, for the first time since 2011, the NHL hosted a game in Europe, the first of two games in consecutive days between the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche in Stockholm, Sweden in what is branded as the Global Series.
Fans of both teams drooled at the matchup, not because it was a rare Friday-afternoon game on the other side of the world, but because it was the first time the two teams have played since the blockbuster Matt Duchene trade on Sunday, and — as the hockey gods would have it — they were facing each other.
Sporting No. 95 (a combination of two numbers he wore during his childhood) for the first time, Duchene took to the ice skating with linemates Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith.
As the anticipation grew and the 26-year-old stepped on the ice for the first time as an Ottawa Senator, play was abruptly halted as Hoffman flicked the puck over the glass and picked up a delay-of-game penalty.