By: Mike Vukovcan

Pittsburgh (KDKA)- The National Hockey League announced its 2011-12 national TV broadcast schedule today, and the Penguins will make the maximum 12 exclusive appearances, including the team’s opening night visit to Vancouver on Oct. 6.

In addition to opening night, the Penguins have been selected for five other VERSUS exclusive broadcasts: Nov. 15 vs. Colorado; Dec. 20 vs. Chicago; Jan. 11 at Washington; Feb. 29 at Dallas; and March 7 vs. Toronto.

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NBC Sports will once again feature a flexible scheduling format on Sunday afternoons that can see the Penguins appear up to four times, beginning with a Jan. 22 showdown with Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals at CONSOL Energy Center.

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Other potential NBC exclusive contests include: Feb. 19 at Buffalo; March 11 vs. Boston; March 18 at Philadelphia; April 1 vs. Philadelphia; and April 7 vs. Philadelphia.

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All other Penguins’ games (a total of 70) will be broadcast locally by ROOT SPORTS.