BOSTON - With the calendar just now turning to summer, it may be hard to look forward to fall - unless it's with an eye towards the 2017-18 NHL season.
The National Hockey League announced on Wednesday the home openers for all 31 teams, providing hockey fans with dates beyond their summer vacations to circle on the calendar.
The Bruins will open their home schedule against the defending Western Conference Champion Nashville Predators on Thursday, Oct. 5, at TD Garden. Boston is 8-3-1 all-time against the Predators at home.
The meeting will mark the first time since 2008 that Boston will play its home opener against a Stanley Cup finalist from the previous season. That year the Bruins hosted Pittsburgh, which had fallen to the Detroit Red Wings in six games the previous spring.
The Bruins are 39-37-16 overall in season-opening games and 31-17-11 all-time when those games are on home ice.
This will mark the 60th time in 93 seasons of play that Boston will open its season on home ice, and the eighth time in the last nine years (opened last season on the road in Columbus), including the 2010-11 season opener in Prague, which was considered a home game for record purposes.
The Bruins split two games with the Predators last season, with the win - a 4-1 victory - coming on home ice at the end of March. After going 17-18-6 at TD Garden in 2015-16, the Bruins improved their home record last season, posting a 23-17-1 mark on Causeway Street.
Boston sold out every regular season game at TD Garden during the 2016-17 season - the seventh straight year it has accomplished that feat. The Bruins will carry a sellout streak of 338 consecutive games (regular season and playoffs) into the 2017-18 season at TD Garden.
The full National Hockey League schedule will be announced on Thursday at 3 p.m. during an exclusive broadcast on NHL Network.
To receive exclusive pre-sale access for 2017-18 individual tickets, team events, and special promotions, sign up for the Boston Bruins Newsletter at BostonBruins.com/Newsletter.
Previously announced key dates:
2017 NHL Entry Draft: June 23-24 in Chicago
2017 Free Agency begins: July 1
2017 Boston Bruins Development Camp: July 6-9 at Warrior Ice Arena
2017 Boston Bruins Rookie Camp, pres. by AT&T: Sept. 7 at Warrior Ice Arena
2017 Boston Bruins Training Camp, pres. by AT&T: Sept. 14 at Warrior Ice Arena
First Preseason Game: Sept. 18 vs. Montreal in Quebec City