The National Hockey League' 2008-09 pre-season schedule runs from Saturday, Sept. 20 through Monday, Oct. 6. The 110-game slate features the four NHL clubs who will open the 2008-09 regular season in Europe -- the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning -- playing five games in four European cities.
The Lightning opens NHL pre-season action in Europe on Sept. 28 with a game against 2008 German league champion Eisbaren Berlin in the German capital at the new 02 World Arena.
The Rangers face Russian club Metallurg Magnitogorsk in Bern, Switzerland on Oct. 1 in competition for the Victoria Cup, a trophy slated to be awarded each year to the victor of a match between an NHL team and the winner of Europe's IIHF-sanctioned Champions Hockey League. The night before the Victoria Cup, the Rangers will face 11-time Swiss league champion SC Bern, marking the first time a Swiss team has played an NHL opponent.
The Senators and Penguins will play pre-season games in Sweden and Finland, respectively, on Oct. 2. The Senators, led by their longtime captain and Sweden native
Highlighting pre-season action in North America, the Philadelphia Flyers will play a nostalgic final game in their former home, the Wachovia Spectrum, when they host the Carolina Hurricanes Sept. 27. The Spectrum, which is slated to close its doors next spring, was the Flyers' home from the club's inaugural NHL season in 1967-68 through 1995-96.
The people of Roberval, Quebec, winners of the Canada-wide Kraft Hockeyville contest, will celebrate the grand prize when the Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres play a pre-season game in their community on Sept. 23.
The schedule features several other contests that will be played outside NHL markets, including Halifax, N.S. (Boston vs. Montreal, Sept. 22 and Boston vs. Detroit, Sept. 25); Kansas City, Mo. (Los Angeles vs. St. Louis, Sept. 22), Las Vegas, Nev. (Colorado vs. Los Angeles, Sept. 27); London, Ont. (NY Islanders vs. Philadelphia, Sept. 25); Moncton, N.B. (Boston vs. NY Islanders, Sept. 23); Salt Lake City, Utah (Los Angeles vs. San Jose, Oct. 5); Summerside, P.E.I. (Florida vs. NY Islanders, Sept. 27) and Winnipeg, Man. (Calgary vs. Phoenix, Sept. 24).
The regular season opens Oct. 4-5, when the Penguins face the Senators in Stockholm, Sweden for the two-game NHL Premiere-Stockholm 2008 and the Rangers square off against the Lightning in Prague, Czech Republic for the two-game NHL Premiere-Prague 2008. The remainder of the regular season begins Oct. 9.
NY Rangers at Ottawa, 7 p.m.
Boston vs. Montreal, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m.
Boston vs. NY Islanders, at Moncton, N.B. (Moncton Coliseum), 6:30 p.m.
NY Rangers at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
Boston vs. Detroit, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m.
Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m.
Carolina at Philadelphia (Wachovia Spectrum), 1 p.m.
Tampa Bay vs. Eisbaren Berlin, at Berlin, Germany (02 World Arena), 10 a.m.
Washington at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
NY Rangers vs. SC Bern, at Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena), 12 p.m.
NY Rangers vs. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, at Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena), 1:45 p.m.
Pittsburgh vs. Jokerit, at Helsinki, Finland (Hartwall Arena), 11:30 a.m.
NY Islanders at New Jersey, 7 p.m.
NY Islanders at Boston, 4 p.m.
Nashville at Carolina, 3 p.m.
NY Islanders at Florida, 7:30 p.m.