The National Hockey League announced its 2017-18 regular season schedule today, with the Colorado Avalanche set to open the campaign on Thursday, Oct. 5, at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. After a three-game road trip to begin the year, the Avalanche will host the Boston Bruins in the home opener on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at Pepsi Center.
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Colorado will open on the road for only the third time in the last 12 seasons (also 2012-13 and 2014-15). The Avs will play their first three games on the road for the first time since 2000-01, when they opened with a four-game road trip. This year will mark the first time that the Avalanche/Nordiques have ever faced the Rangers in a season opener.
The Avalanche's 2017-18 schedule is highlighted by the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series, which features a pair of regular-season games against the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm, Sweden, on Friday, Nov. 10, and Saturday, Nov. 11.
Colorado will play 26 games against its Central Division rivals (13 home/away) after playing 30 games within the division last year. The Avs will face Dallas and St. Louis five times each, while meeting Chicago, Minnesota, Nashville and Winnipeg four times apiece. The Central is the only NHL division to feature seven clubs instead of eight.
The Avs will play 24 games against Pacific Division teams, meeting each of the eight opponents three times (12 home/away). Colorado will have 32 total games against teams from the Eastern Conference, facing all 16 clubs twice (once at home).
The Avs are scheduled for 12 afternoon games, including eight at home, the most home day games in Avalanche history (since 1995-96). Colorado's 12 total daytime affairs will be the club's most since 2008-09 (also 12). The Avs will host a matinee on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 15, against the Anaheim Ducks. Colorado's first game against the expansion Vegas Golden Knights will be a Friday afternoon contest in Las Vegas on "Nevada Day" (Oct. 27). The Avalanche will play in a Columbus Day matchup against the Bruins in Boston on Oct. 9, the fourth time in the last eight years that Colorado has participated in that Monday afternoon contest.
The Avs will face the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins twice in a span of a week, as they travel to Pittsburgh on Monday, Dec. 11, before hosting the Pens on Monday, Dec. 18.
The Avalanche's longest homestand is six games from Dec. 27 to Jan. 6, the club's longest home stay since 2013-14 (seven). The Avs' longest road trip is six games from Jan. 22 to Feb. 3, but the team will return home in the middle of that journey for the All-Star break.
The Avs will host a New Year's Eve game for the fifth straight year, as they welcome the New York Islanders to Pepsi Center on Dec. 31. Colorado's schedule features 19 "weekend" games at Pepsi Center, including six on Friday, eight on Saturday and five on Sunday. The Avalanche will play a total of 11 back-to-back contests.
Tickets for all 40 regular-season home games at Pepsi Center are on sale now. For full and partial season memberships, fans can contact 303.4AVS.NHL. The complete broadcast schedule, including Altitude Sports & Entertainment telecasts, will be announced at a later time.