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Gary Bettman says NHL plans to play games in Europe next two years

STOCKHOLM -- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman says the league plans to return to Europe for games in the next two years.

Citing huge demand, Bettman said on Friday that the Boston Bruins and Nashville Predators will open the regular season next year with a game in Prague. The Colorado Avalanche and Columbus Blue Jackets will play a couple of games in the Finnish capital of Helsinki.

Bettman did not specify dates for the games.

He added that he is "pretty certain" the NHL will return to Sweden in two years, but he gave no details about the teams involved and venue.

Bettman was talking to reporters before the Buffalo Sabres and Tampa Bay Lightning play the first of their two games in the Swedish capital of Stockholm.

In October, the Philadelphia Flyers beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 to open their season in Prague.