The Buffalo Sabres and the National Hockey League today announced the team’s 2011-2012 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 p.m. All other home games will begin at 7 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Times are still subject to change.
Buffalo will play their 82-game schedule with the same breakdown of opponents as last season. Each team will play their divisional opponents six times (24 games), four games against each non-divisional conference opponents (40 games), one game against each of the 15 non-conference opponents (15), and three additional “at large” games (Detroit, Anaheim and Columbus). CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL 2011-12 SCHEDULE
More than half of Buffalo’s home schedule will take place on weekends, with 12 Friday home games and eight on Saturdays. The Sabres will also play once on a Sunday – a 12:30 p.m. home date with the Pittsburgh Penguins on February 19.
The Sabres will start the regular season with a pair of games in Europe as part of the 2011 Compuware NHL Premiere™ and NHL Face-Off™. Buffalo will open the season on Friday, October 7, when they “host” Anaheim at the Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, Finland. The next day, Saturday, October 8, the Sabres and Los Angeles Kings will play each other at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany. Buffalo will be designated as the away team for this game.
Following a five-day break, the Sabres will play their North American home opener at HSBC Arena against the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, October 14. Buffalo hits the road immediately following that game, and will face Pittsburgh on Saturday, October 15 at the Consol Energy Center.
The Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins come to HSBC Arena for the first time on Wednesday, November 23, part of a Thanksgiving holiday that also features a home game against the Washington Capitals on Saturday, November 26. Other highlights of Buffalo’s home schedule include: a New Year’s Eve game against the Ottawa Senators at 7 p.m.; the first visit from the new Winnipeg franchise on Tuesday, Nov. 8; and the lone visit of the season from the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, December 2.
The Sabres will also play two sets of back-to-back Friday/Saturday home games: December 9 vs. Florida/December 10 vs. NY Rangers; and February 10 vs. Dallas/February 11 vs. Tampa Bay.
Buffalo’s longest stretch of road games takes place in late January when they will play seven straight from January 14-31. The trip starts against the NY Islanders (Jan. 14), before continuing on to Detroit (Jan. 16), Chicago (Jan. 18), Winnipeg (Jan. 19), St. Louis (Jan. 21) and New Jersey (Jan. 24). The game in Winnipeg will be Buffalo’s first since January 10, 1996. The trip finishes up following All-Star Weekend with a game in Montreal (Jan. 31). This year’s All-Star Game festivities take place in Ottawa from Jan. 28-29.
The Sabres will also go west for four games starting with back-to-back tilts in Anaheim (Feb. 29) and San Jose (Mar. 1). They then head up to Canada for games in Vancouver (Mar. 3) and Winnipeg (Mar. 5).
March is the team’s busiest month of the season with 16 games in 31 days. The Sabres will play 21 sets of back-to-back games this season, with 16 taking place on Fridays and Saturdays. However, the Sabres will only play three back-to-back sets in the final five weeks of the season. Buffalo’s busiest night of the week is Saturday, with the team playing on 24 of a possible 25 throughout the season.