BOSTON - Start marking up your calendar.
The National Hockey League announced on Thursday the 2017-18 regular season schedule. On Wednesday, it was revealed that the Bruins would open the season on Oct. 5, at home against the defending Western Conference champion Nashville Predators.
There are plenty of highlights on this year's Bruins slate, including the returns of former coach Claude Julien and the Black Friday matinee, the inaugural games against the Vegas Golden Knights, and four more contests against last year's playoff foes, the Ottawa Senators.
Here are some of the top games to look forward to:
Oct. 5 vs. Nashville (7 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
It's the first game of the year. At the Garden. Against the defending Western Conference champions. What's not to be excited about?
The Bruins will also host Colorado in the second game of the season, before heading out on the road for a three-game trip that begins with visits to the Avs and Coyotes.
Oct. 15 at Vegas (7 p.m. ET, T-Mobile Arena)
It won't take long for the Bruins to play their inaugural game against the Golden Knights, as Boston travels to Sin City in the final game of that three-game road trip.
Nov. 2 vs. Vegas (7 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
Boston welcomes Vegas to the Garden for the first time in the start of a three-game homestand.
Nov. 24 vs. Pittsburgh (1 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
The Bruins will take on the two-time defending Stanley Cup champions in the traditional Black Friday matinee at TD Garden. Boston was 1-2 against the Penguins last season, with the lone win coming on Jan. 26 when Patrice Bergeron notched the winner in a 4-3 victory at TD Garden.
Nov. 26 vs. Edmonton (5 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
Boston hosts the up-and-coming Oilers, along with reigning Hart Trophy winner Connor McDavid, in Edmonton's lone visit of the season.
Dec. 13 at Detroit (8 p.m. ET, Little Caesars Arena)
Boston will get its first look at Little Caesars Arena on Dec. 13 in Detroit. Joe Louis Arena, the Red Wings' home since 1979, closed following last season.
Dec. 27 vs. Ottawa (7 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
After a tightly-contested first-round Stanley Cup Playoffs series last spring, the two division rivals will be back at it in the first game after Christmas. Ottawa won that series in six games - all of which were decided by one goal. The Bruins dropped all four regular-season matchups last year.
Jan. 13 at Montreal (7 p.m. ET, Bell Centre)
The first meeting with their archrivals will bring with it a bit more meaning this season, as the Bruins will face Montreal coach Claude Julien - Boston's all-time winningest coach - for the first time since he was relieved of his duties by the B's last February.
Jan. 17 vs. Montreal (7:30 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
Just four nights later, Julien will make his return to Boston. The third matchup of the year against the Habs comes three days after that, back in Montreal on Jan. 20.
April 7 vs. Ottawa (7 p.m. ET, TD Garden)
The regular-season finale will be at TD Garden against the Sens.
Some other nuggets from the 2017-18 schedule:
- Longest road stretch: 5 games - Feb. 17-25, against Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and Buffalo.
- Longest homestand: 6 games - Feb. 27-March 10, against Carolina, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Chicago.
- The Bruins' bye week will be Jan. 8-Jan. 12, sandwiched around road games in Pittsburgh and Montreal.
- Boston's California swing is much earlier than the previous two seasons, as the Bruins head west from Nov. 15-Nov. 18 to visit Anaheim, Los Angeles, and San Jose.
- The All-Star Break will be Jan. 26-29, with the game on Jan. 28 at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.
- The schedule includes 14 sets of back-to-backs. The first is Oct. 14-15 (at Arizona, at Las Vegas) and the last is March 31-April 1 (vs. Florida, at Philadelphia).
- The Bruins will play in six home matinees, the first coming in the second game of the season against Colorado on Columbus Day.
- Boston closes the season with 11 of 15 games on the road, including two four-game trips and a three-game trip.
For the full 2017-18 regular season schedule, click here.
Fans can place a Game Plan or Group Deposit for the 2017-18 season at BostonBruins.com/GamePlans and BostonBruins.com/Groups respectively. Game Plan Deposits must be locked in by June 23 at 2:00 p.m. and Group Deposits by July 14 at 2:00 p.m. to score priority access before the public.
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