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 Daniel Alfredsson, will face Swedish club Frolunda in Alfredsson's hometown of Gothenburg, while the Penguins will meet Finnish club Jokerit in Helsinki.
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.
2008-09 NHL PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE (all times Eastern)
SATURDAY, SEPT. 20
NY Rangers at Ottawa, 7 p.m.Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPT. 22
Boston vs. Montreal, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m. Ottawa at NY Rangers, 7 p.m. New Jersey at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. Buffalo at Toronto, 7:30 p.m. Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. Los Angeles (split squad) vs. St. Louis, at Kansas City, Mo. (Sprint Center), 8 p.m. Vancouver at Edmonton, 9 p.m. Phoenix at Los Angeles (split squad), 10:30 p.m.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 23
Boston vs. NY Islanders, at Moncton, N.B. (Moncton Coliseum), 6:30 p.m.Buffalo vs. Montreal, at Roberval, Que. (Centre Sportif Benoit-Levesque), 7 p.m.NY Rangers at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m. Columbus at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. Dallas at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m. Florida at Calgary, 9 p.m. Edmonton at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 24
NY Rangers at New Jersey, 7 p.m.Washington at Carolina, 7 p.m.Philadelphia at Ottawa, 7 p.m.Toronto at Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.Montreal at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.Columbus at Minnesota, 8 p.m.Calgary vs. Phoenix, at Winnipeg, Man. (MTS Centre), 8:30 p.m. Florida at Edmonton, 9 p.m. Los Angeles at Colorado, 9 p.m. San Jose at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
THURSDAY, SEPT. 25
Boston vs. Detroit, at Halifax, N.S. (Metro Centre), 6 p.m. Carolina at Washington, 7 p.m. Tampa Bay at NY Rangers, 7 p.m. NY Islanders vs. Philadelphia, at London, Ont. (John Labatt Centre), 7 p.m.Atlanta at Nashville, 8 p.m. Colorado at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. Phoenix at Calgary, 9 p.m. Florida at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 26
Nashville at Columbus, 7 p.m.Ottawa at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.Pittsburgh at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.Boston at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.Minnesota at Chicago, 8:30 p.m.Atlanta at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.Florida at Calgary, 9 p.m.Anaheim at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 27
Carolina at Philadelphia (Wachovia Spectrum), 1 p.m.New Jersey at NY Rangers, 2 p.m.Washington at Boston, 4 p.m.Florida vs. NY Islanders, at Summerside, P.E.I. (Summerside Wellness Centre), 6 p.m. Toronto at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Montreal at Ottawa, 7 p.m. Columbus at Nashville, 8 p.m. St. Louis at Dallas, 8 p.m. Anaheim at Phoenix, 10 p.m. Colorado vs. Los Angeles, at Las Vegas, Nev. (MGM Grand), 10 p.m.Vancouver at San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 28
Tampa Bay vs. Eisbaren Berlin, at Berlin, Germany (02 World Arena), 10 a.m. Philadelphia at Carolina, 3 p.m. Atlanta at Detroit, 5 p.m. Florida at Montreal, 7 p.m. Minnesota at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Dallas at Chicago, 7 p.m. Vancouver at Anaheim, 8 p.m.
MONDAY, SEPT. 29
Washington at New Jersey, 7 p.m.Chicago at Columbus, 7 p.m.St. Louis at Toronto, 7:30 p.m.San Jose at Phoenix, 10 p.m.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 30
NY Rangers vs. SC Bern, at Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena), 12 p.m.Detroit at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. Chicago at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Calgary at Edmonton, 9 p.m. Phoenix at San Jose, 10:30 p.m. Anaheim at Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 1
NY Rangers vs. Metallurg Magnitogorsk, at Bern, Switzerland (PostFinance Arena), 1:45 p.m. New Jersey at NY Islanders, 7 p.m. Washington at Philadelphia, 7 p.m. Detroit at Atlanta, 7 p.m. Boston at Montreal, 7:30 p.m. Buffalo at Minnesota, 8 p.m. Toronto at St. Louis, 8:30 p.m. Dallas at Colorado, 9 p.m. Los Angeles at Anaheim, 10 p.m. Calgary at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
THURSDAY, OCT. 2
Pittsburgh vs. Jokerit, at Helsinki, Finland (Hartwall Arena), 11:30 a.m. Ottawa vs. Frolunda, at Gothenburg, Sweden (Scandinavium), 1 p.m. Buffalo at Columbus, 7 p.m. Carolina at Nashville, 8 p.m. Chicago at Dallas, 8:30 p.m. San Jose at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
FRIDAY, OCT. 3
NY Islanders at New Jersey, 7 p.m.Philadelphia at Washington, 7 p.m.Minnesota at Columbus, 7 p.m.Toronto at Detroit, 7:30 p.m.Nashville at Atlanta, 7:30 p.m.Chicago at Colorado, 9 p.m.Edmonton at Calgary, 9 p.m.Phoenix at Anaheim, 10 p.m.
SATURDAY, OCT. 4
NY Islanders at Boston, 4 p.m.Philadelphia at New Jersey, 7 p.m.Detroit at Toronto, 7 p.m.Minnesota at Montreal, 7 p.m.St. Louis at Atlanta, 7 p.m.Los Angeles at Phoenix, 10 p.m.
SUNDAY, OCT. 5
Nashville at Carolina, 3 p.m.Columbus at Toronto, 5 p.m.Boston at Washington, 5 p.m.Buffalo at Detroit, 5 p.m.Colorado at Chicago, 7 p.m.Edmonton at Dallas, 8 p.m.Los Angeles vs. San Jose, at Salt Lake City, Utah (E-Center), 9 p.m. Anaheim at Vancouver, 10 p.m.
MONDAY, OCT. 6
NY Islanders at Florida, 7:30 p.m.