STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) -The Pittsburgh Penguins arrived in Sweden after an eight-hour flight from the United States, then hit the practice rink a few hours later Sunday.
``It wasn't too bad,'' captain Sidney Crosby said after the workout. ``A lot of us have been through similar situations before. You usually don't expect the sharpest practice, but these guys out there were awake and getting adjusted.''
The Penguins are in the Swedish capital for NHL season-opening games Saturday and Sunday against the Ottawa Senators at the Globe Arena. The New York Rangers take on the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Czech capital of Prague the same weekend.
Many NHL teams, including the Montreal Canadiens Toronto Maple Leafs, have visited Sweden throughout the years. But this is the first time the NHL regular season opens in Scandinavia.
This is also the first trip to Europe for the Penguins.
Not for Crosby, though.
United States.
``It's a nice city,'' Crosby said of Stockholm. ``They support hockey pretty well from what I've seen.''
Crosby hopes the Penguins, who lost the Stanley Cup finals to the Detroit Red Wings last season, will get off to a better start this year.
``In the last couple of years we probably didn't start amazing, but decent enough to stay with the pack,'' he said. ``We probably want to improve on that and start even better. We have a great test in our first two games against Ottawa here.''
Pittsburgh will practice three more days at the Hovet, an arena next to the Globe Arena.
The Penguins travel to the Finnish capital of Helsinki on Thursday for a preseason game against Jokerit of the Finnish Elite League. Another practice is scheduled Friday in Stockholm.
Ottawa will arrive in Sweden on Monday and practice for three days in Goteborg before playing Swedish Elite League team Frolunda in its final preseason game Thursday.
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