The Buffalo Sabres and the National Hockey League today announced the 2008-2009 regular season schedule. The variable pricing designations, as well as box office pricing for individual games will be released at a later date. All Friday night home games will start at 7:30 PM. All other home games will begin at 7:00 PM, unless otherwise noted.
This season, the NHL has revised its scheduling format. Each team will continue to play an 82-game schedule, but the breakdown of opponents has changed. Each team will play their divisional opponents six times (24 games in total), four games against each non-divisional conference opponent (40 games in total), one game against each of the 15 non-conference opponents and three “at large” games.
The Sabres’ 39th season of operation will begin when the Montreal Canadiens visit HSBC Arena on Friday, October 10. The Sabres will travel to Long Island to begin the road portion of their schedule on Monday, October 13 to face the New York Islanders.
The Sabres will face off against their border rivals from Toronto for the first time on Friday, December 12, when the Maple Leafs head to Buffalo. The Sabres will ring in 2009 in Toronto on January 1.
This season’s schedule will feature many other intriguing matchups. The Sabres will battle the defending Stanley Cup Champion Detroit Red Wings twice. Buffalo will head to the Motor City on Saturday, January 10 and Detroit will visit Buffalo on Monday April 6. Sabres fans will also have two chances to watch 2008 NHL Most Valuable Player Alexander Ovechkin when the Washington Capitals visit the HSBC Arena twice on November 11 and December 30.
The Montreal Canadiens and the Bell Centre will host the events of All-Star Weekend January 24-25 as part of the celebrations surrounding the Canadiens’ 100th anniversary.