The Penguins and Predators will open next season with a two-game series Oct. 7-8 in Tokyo. The games will be played at Saitama Arena, which is scheduled to open next fall about a half-hour from downtown Tokyo. The series will mark the first time that Eastern Conference teams will play in Japan, with Pittsburgh's Jaromir Jagr the prime attraction.

Each team will lose one home game by making the trip. It is expected the NHL will give the teams nearly a week off after returning from Japan to get reaccustomed to the time difference.

LAWSUIT IS A GO: A lawsuit filed by fans against hockey holdout Alexei Yashin of the Senators can go ahead, the Superior Court of Ontario has ruled. Justice Michel Charbonneau ruled that the $27.5 million suit filed on behalf of Senators' season-ticket holders can proceed even though the law in this area is "relatively undeveloped." . . .

The Canadian government denied it was about to announce a long-awaited aid package to help the country's six NHL clubs compete more effectively with their U.S. counterparts.

SKRUDLAND OUT: Stars C Brian Skrudland will be out for six to eight weeks after suffering a chest contusion Monday against the Kings.