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NHL to hold preseason games in Australia in ‘historic’ first

The National Hockey League said it will hold matches in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time with a preseason series between the Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings in Australia.

The two games will be on September 23 and 24 at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena, best known as the home of the Australian Open tennis.

The NHL Global Series is part of the sport’s drive to grow the game globally.

“The Arizona Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings are two of our league’s rising young teams and among our most innovative and adventurous franchises,” NHL commissioner Gary Bettman said in a statement.

“We look forward to their two games at Rod Laver Arena and know this history-making visit will thrill our many avid fans in Australia and cause so many more throughout the sports-loving nation to be captivated by our great game.”

The Kings played two preseason games in China in 2017 and regular-season games in England, Germany and Sweden before that.

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