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Breaking Down the 2018-19 Schedule

Highlights and trends of this season's schedule

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

Summer is officially here, but we're already wondering: is it October yet?

The Carolina Hurricanes 2018-19 regular-season schedule was released today, and the team will open at home on Thursday, Oct. 4 against the New York Islanders.


Here is a breakdown of some of the highlights from the 82-game schedule.

The Puck Drops at Home

For the second straight year, the Hurricanes will begin their season on home ice. The Canes open on Thursday, Oct. 4 against the Islanders before traveling to Columbus for the Blue Jackets' home opener on Friday, Oct. 5. A Sunday evening match-up against the New York Rangers at PNC Arena caps the first weekend of the 2018-19 season.

Hitting the Road

The Hurricanes will travel up and down North America in a three-game road trip that takes them through Minnesota, Winnipeg and Tampa Bay from Oct. 13-16. The North Carolina State Fair will be in town at that time, but …

State Fair Game

… for the first time since 2002, the Hurricanes will stage a home game during the State Fair on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 1 p.m. against the Colorado Avalanche.

There's No Place Like Home

The Hurricanes' longest homestand of the season - six games stretched over a 14-day period - begins Saturday, Nov. 10 and concludes with two games surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.

Additionally, two five-game homestands dot the schedule: the Canes will host Washington, Arizona, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Boston in the 10 days leading up to the Christmas break, and down the stretch of the season in the latter half of March, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay, Minnesota and Montreal will come to town.

Challenging the Champs

The Canes will face off with the defending Stanley Cup champion (and Metropolitan Division rival) Washington Capitals four times in the 2018-19 season. The Caps visit Raleigh on Dec. 14 before the Canes head up to the District on Dec. 27 coming off the three-day Christmas break. In the second-to-last week of the season, the Canes and Caps will square off twice in three days: March 26 in Washington and March 28 in Raleigh.

Happy New Year

Ring in 2019 with the Hurricanes, who host the Philadelphia Flyers at 6 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

An Extended All-Star Break

The Canes will conduct a quick tour of Western Canada just before the All-Star break, with games in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. San Jose is the site of 2019 NHL All-Star Weekend on Jan. 25-26. The bye week - a period of five days in which no team activities can occur - then begins for the Canes on Jan. 27, turning the All-Star break into a weeklong stretch. The team returns to action on Feb. 1 at home against the defending Western Conference champion Vegas Golden Knights.

Going Back to Back

The Hurricanes will play 17 sets of back-to-back games in the 2018-19 season, a smidge less than the 18 they played last season. Four of the 17 sets will not involve travel for the Canes: Nov. 17 vs. Columbus and Nov. 18 vs. New Jersey, Dec. 22 vs. Pittsburgh and Dec. 23 vs. Boston, Feb. 15 vs. Edmonton and Feb. 16 vs. Dallas, and March 23 vs. Minnesota and March 24 vs. Montreal.

The Matrix

Even with 31 franchises in the league, each team still travels to and hosts the other 30 teams at least once each season. The Hurricanes face their seven Metropolitan Division opponents four times each (twice at home and twice on the road). They square off against their eight Atlantic Division opponents three times each, matching up with four teams twice at home and once on the road and the other four teams once at home and twice on the road, in a rotation from the 2017-18 schedule. Finally, the Canes will play each of the 15 Western Conference teams once at home and once on the road.


The Canes' 2018-19 schedule is incredibly balanced; of the season's six full months, three of them feature 13 games (with November and December having the exact same split of seven games at home and six on the road) and two feature 12 games.

March, as is typically the case, is the busiest month, and features 16 games - nine at home and seven on the road - in a span of 31 days.

Month Home Road Total
October 7 5 12
November 7 6 13
December 7 6 13
January 4 8 12
February 6 7 13
March 9 7 16
April 1 2 3

Plan to spend your weekends at PNC Arena, as more than half of the Hurricanes' 41 home games (27) will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. In total, the weekend houses 46 of the 82 games on the schedule.

Friday and Saturday are the two busiest days of the weekend, as the Canes will play 16 games on either day. Eleven of the team's 16 Friday games will be played at home, and all will face off at 7:30 p.m. Saturday features an even eight-and-eight split; the Canes will play on each of the four Saturdays in November (two at home, two on the road) and every Saturday from Feb. 16 through the end of the regular season (April 6). Eight of the team's 14 Sunday games will be played at home, and all but one of those will face off prior to 7 p.m., including a pair of 1 p.m. matinees.

Monday (four games) and Wednesday (three games) remain light, with Tuesday (17 games) carrying the load during the week.

Day Home Road Total
Monday 2 2 4
Tuesday 6 11 17
Wednesday 1 2 3
Thursday 5 7 12
Friday 11 5 16
Saturday 8 8 16
Sunday 8 6 14

Opening Night is included with all 2018-19 Season Ticket Memberships. 22- and 11-Game Flex Plans allow Season Ticket Members to choose the games to fill in the remainder of their packages. For more information about Hurricanes Season Ticket Memberships, please call 1-866-NHL-CANEs (1-866-645-2263), fill out this info request form or visit

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