New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club will open the 2001-2002 season on Friday, October 5 at Carolina. It marks the fifth time in the last nine seasons that the team has opened on the road. The Rangers will play their first game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, October 7 vs. Buffalo (7:00 PM).
The 2001-2002 home schedule features a heavy concentration of Monday (9) and Wednesday (13) games, as well as Sunday (8) dates. There will also be four Tuesday games, three Saturday contests and two Thursday and Friday matches. A notable addition to the schedule will be the Rangers hosting six weekend afternoon contests throughout the course of the season, including: Sun., Nov. 25 vs. Anaheim (5:00 PM); Sun., Dec. 23 vs. Ottawa (1:00 PM); Sat., Jan. 26 vs. Washington (1:00 PM); Sun., Feb. 10 vs. Pittsburgh (1:00 PM); Sat., Mar. 2 vs. Philadelphia (3:00 PM); and Sun., Mar. 17 vs. Detroit Red Wings (3:00 PM).
The club will host a seven-game homestand at MSG, their longest of the season, beginning on Monday, December 10 against Carolina and concluding on Sunday, December 23 vs. Ottawa, with matches against Nashville, Buffalo, Florida, New Jersey and Long Island in between. The Rangers will endure their longest road trip of the season beginning on Friday, December 28 in San Jose and concluding on Saturday, January 5 in Pittsburgh, with visits to Los Angeles, Phoenix, Edmonton and Colorado in between.
The Rangers will face the Atlantic Division rival New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins five times, and all Northeast Division and Southeast Division opponents four times. New York will face Western Conference teams twice, except for single matches versus the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Calgary Flames, Chicago Blackhawks, Edmonton Oilers, Nashville Predators, Phoenix Coyotes, St. Louis Blues and Vancouver Canucks. Chicago, Edmonton, Phoenix and St. Louis will not make appearances at MSG this season. The second-year Columbus Blue Jackets will make their first-ever appearance at The Garden on Monday, January 14th.
Starting times for all home games will be 7:00 PM, except for the six weekend matinee contests and the following eight dates: Wed., Oct. 17 vs. New Jersey (7:30 PM); Wed., Nov. 14 vs. Philadelphia (8:00 PM); Tue., Nov. 20 vs. Colorado (8:00 PM); Wed, Dec. 19 vs. New Jersey (8:00 PM); Wed., Jan. 9 vs. Los Angeles (8:00 PM); Mon., Mar. 11 vs. Montreal (7:30 PM); Wed., Mar. 13 vs. Boston (8:00 PM); and Wed., Mar. 27 vs. Philadelphia (8:00 PM).
Under the NHL’s network television agreement, five Rangers games will be shown exclusively on ABC (Sat., Jan. 5 at Pittsburgh; Sat., Jan. 12 at Philadelphia; Sat., Mar. 2 vs. Philadelphia; Sat., Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh and Sat., Mar. 16 at New Jersey.