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Short-Season Travel Bigger Issue In West Than East

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DETROIT, MI - APRIL 15: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a second period goal in front of Pekka Rinne #35 and Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators  during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 15, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Nashville won the game 3-2 and lead the series 2-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – APRIL 15: Pavel Datsyuk #13 of the Detroit Red Wings celebrates a second period goal in front of Pekka Rinne #35 and Roman Josi #59 of the Nashville Predators during Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Joe Louis Arena on April 15, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. Nashville won the game 3-2 and lead the series 2-1. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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DAN GELSTON,AP Sports Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Eastern Conference teams will come out the big winner in the quest for rest this season.

The top seven traveling teams in this lockout-shortened season are all from the Western Conference: Minnesota, Dallas, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Calgary and Detroit will each travel more than 27,000 miles.

No surprise, the teams that hop the train or bus for quick road trips — namely those in the Atlantic Division — have a nice road ahead of them. Ranked from the bottom up, the Devils, Rangers, Islanders and Flyers will each travel less than 15,000 miles.

Those teams might truly benefit from the shortened season in the postseason. But their fans might be the biggest winners of them all. They will get to see more regional rivalries played out instead of seeing anonymous teams from the other conference.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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