Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Sports

July 30, 2013

Sabres open Oct. 2 at Detroit

NHL releases 2013-14 schedule after Olympic agreement

(Continued)

BUFFALO —

The annual Winter Classic, to be played on New Year’s Day at Michigan Stadium between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings, won’t be alone in the great outdoors. This season it is just one of six games to be staged in the elements.
A four-game NHL Stadium Series will feature Southern California rivals Anaheim and Los Angeles facing off in Dodger Stadium on Jan. 25. The Rangers will take on their local rivals, the Devils and Islanders, in a pair of games at Yankee Stadium three days apart. First up will be the Rangers and Devils in a Jan. 26 matinee, followed by the Rangers and Islanders in prime time on Jan. 29.
The last will be a matchup between the Penguins and Blackhawks at Soldier Field, the home of the Chicago Bears, on March 1 at night. The annual Heritage Classic will be in Vancouver on March 2 when the Canucks host the Ottawa Senators.
That will be just four days after the NHL returns from the Olympic break that runs from Feb. 9-25.
The schedule will have quite a different look this time around. Every team is slated to meet every other club both home and away, with new rivalries developing in the revamped divisions after franchises changed conferences to make things more balanced geographically.
Travel for Columbus and Detroit will be a whole lot easier now that they are with Eastern time zone teams instead of lots of trips out West.
Western teams will mostly play 29 games within their division: five games against five teams and four games versus one team, with those matchups rotated yearly. Those clubs will play 21 games against Western teams not in their division and 32 games against the 16 Eastern teams to reach a total of 82.
In the East, clubs will play five games against two teams in the division and four games against five teams to make up 30 games of the schedule. Within the conference, teams will play three games against every team in the opposite division for a total of 24 games. The other 28 games will be played against the West.

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