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Red Wings announce 2008-09 schedule

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

DETROIT – For the first time in three seasons, the defending Stanley Cup champion Red Wings will play at least one game against every team in the league in 2008-09.

In the NHL schedule released on Thursday, the Red Wings will play each of their three Central Division rivals (Chicago, Columbus, Nashville, St. Louis) three times at home and three times on the road. The Wings will play another 40 games inside the Western Conference with two home and two road games against the remaining 10 Western teams.

The remaining 18 games involve at least one game each against all 15 Eastern Conference teams. The Wings will face Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Atlanta each twice – both home and away.

The Wings will face the Penguins -- the team they beat to win their 11th Stanley Cup in franchise history – on Tuesday, November 11 at Joe Louis Arena, and on Sunday, February 8 at Pittsburgh’s Mellon Arena.

The Wings will open the season against Original Six rival Toronto on Thursday, October 9 when a championship banner ceremony is planned.

Besides the Maple Leafs and Penguins, the nine home games against Eastern rivals include meetings with the New York Rangers (Oct. 18), Atlanta (Oct. 24), New Jersey (Nov. 8), Montreal (Nov. 26), Buffalo (Jan. 10), Philadelphia (March 17), and the New York Islanders (March 27).

The 2008-09 schedule will feature five Friday games, eight Saturday games, and three Sunday games at Joe Louis Arena.  Last season, the Red Wings hosted eight Friday games, four Saturday games, and four Sunday games.

An obvious omission to the 2008-09 schedule is the traditional New Year’s Eve game that has been a regular staple in the Red Wings’ schedule since 1950. Instead, the Wings and Blackhawks will play a home-and-home series on Dec. 30 and Jan. 1. The New Year’s Day game will be the league’s second annual Winter Classic, an outdoor contest, which will be played at the 41,000-season Wrigley Field.

The Wings only have four home games in January with nine games on the road, including a season-long, six-game trip that begins in Dallas on Jan. 12 and finishes at Columbus on Jan. 27.

Last November, the NHL’s Board of Governors approved the new scheduling matrix, which ensures that each team plays every club at least one, either home or away.

The new format represents a change from a matrix approved by the Board for the 2005-06 season that called for four games (40 total) against each non-division conference opponent, eight games (32 total) against each in-division opponent and 10 inter-conference games.

Fans can still lock in to last year’s ticket prices by becoming a season-ticket holder prior to August 4.  For season ticket information, call the Red Wings Ticket Sales and Service Department at 313-396-7575.

Red Wings 2008-09 Regular-Season Schedule

Day Date   Opponent Time
Thu Oct 9   Toronto 7 p.m.
Sat Oct 11 at Ottawa 7 p.m.
Mon Oct 13 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Thu Oct 16   Vancouver 7:30 p.m. 
Sat  Oct 18   N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m. 
Wed Oct 22 at St. Louis  8:30 p.m.
Fri  Oct 24   Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Sat Oct 25 at Chicago 8:30 p.m.
Mon Oct 27 at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.
Wed Oct 29 at Anaheim 10 p.m.
Thu Oct 30 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Sun Nov 2 at Vancouver 10 p.m.
Sat Nov 8   New Jersey 7 p.m.
Tue Nov 11   Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Thu Nov 13 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Fri Nov 14 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Mon Nov 17   Edmonton 7:30 p.m.
Thu  Nov 20  at  Edmonton 9 p.m.
Sat  Nov 22 at Calgary 10 p.m.
Mon Nov 24 at Vancouver 10 p.m.
Wed Nov 26   Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Fri  Nov 28   Columbus 7:30 p.m.
Sat Nov 29 at Boston 7 p.m.
Mon Dec 1   Anaheim 7:30 p.m.
Thu Dec 4   Vancouver 7:30 p.m.
Sat Dec 6   Chicago 7 p.m.
Wed Dec 10   Calgary 7:30 p.m.
Fri Dec 12 at Dallas 8:30 p.m.
Sat Dec 13 at Phoenix 9 p.m.
Mon Dec 15   Colorado 7 p.m.
Thu Dec 18   San Jose 7:30 p.m.
Sat  Dec 20   Los Angeles 7 p.m.
Tue Dec 23   St. Louis 7:30 p.m.
Fri Dec 26 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Sat Dec 27 at Colorado 9 p.m.
Tue Dec 30   Chicago 7:30 p.m.
Thu Jan 1 at Chicago * 1 p.m.
Sat Jan 3 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Tue Jan 6   Columbus 7:30 p.m.
Thu Jan 8   Dallas 7:30 p.m.
Sat Jan 10   Buffalo  7 p.m.
Mon Jan 12 at Dallas 8 p.m. 
Wed Jan 14 at Anaheim 10 p.m.
Thu Jan 15 at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.
Sat Jan 17 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Tue Jan 20 at Phoenix 9 p.m.
Tue Jan 27 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Thu Jan 29   Dallas 7:30 p.m.
Sat Jan 31 at Washington 12:30 p.m.
Mon Feb 2   St. Louis 7 p.m.
Wed Feb 4   Phoenix 7:30 p.m.
Sat Feb 7   Edmonton 3 p.m.
Sun  Feb 8 at Pittsburgh 3 p.m.
Tue Feb 10 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Thu Feb 12   Minnesota 7:30 p.m.
Fri Feb 13 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Sun Feb 15   Colorado 5 p.m.
Wed Feb 18   Nashville 7:30 p.m.
Fri Feb 20   Anaheim 7:30 p.m.
Sat Feb 21 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Wed Feb 25   San Jose 7:30 p.m.
Fri Feb 27   Los Angeles 7:30 p.m. 
Sat Feb 28 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Tue Mar 3 at St. Louis 8:30 p.m.
Wed Mar 4 at Colorado 9 p.m.
Sat Mar 7   Columbus  7 p.m.
Tue Mar 10   Phoenix 7:30 p.m.
Thu Mar 12   Calgary 7 p.m.
Sat Mar 14 at St. Louis 2 p.m.
Sun Mar 15 at Columbus 5 p.m.
Tue Mar 17   Philadelphia 7:30 p.m.
Fri Mar 20 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Mon Mar 23 at Calgary 9 p.m.
Tue Mar 24 at Edmonton 9:30 p.m.
Fri Mar 27   N.Y. Islanders 7:30 p.m.
Sun Mar 29   Nashville 5 p.m.
Thu  Apr 2   St. Louis 7:30 p.m.
Sun  Apr 5   Minnesota 5 p.m.
Mon Apr 6 at  Buffalo 7 p.m.
Thu  Apr 9   Nashville 7:30 p.m.
Sat Apr 11   Chicago 3 p.m.
Sun Apr 12 at Chicago 5 p.m.

* Winter Classic at Wrigley Field, Chicago

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