The Florida Panthers return to a normal-looking schedule for the 2021-22 season after playing a 56-game slate in a more regionalized division this past year.
The Panthers will be back in the Atlantic Division with the Lightning, Sabres, Bruins, Canadiens, Maple Leafs and Senators.
The highlights of the 2021-22 schedule include the season-opener October 14 against Pittsburgh. Florida’s first date with the rival Lightning comes in Tampa on Oct. 19.
The first meeting between the expansion Seattle Kraken — and goalie Chris Driedger’s return — comes Nov. 27.
Florida will end the regular season on a three-game road trip with games against divisional foes in Boston, Ottawa and Montreal.
Although the Panthers will not have a New Year’s Eve game, they will play host to the Canadiens on Dec. 30 with the Lightning in town on New Year’s Day.
That decision may have been made to avoid the Orange Bowl Game, one of the college football semifinals this season, which will be played on Dec. 31.
The NHL built in an Olympic break although it is not certain that players will be traveling to Beijing for the games.
That means a three-week hiatus in February.
According to an AP report, there are two different schedules. The one released Thursday includes the Olympic break — with the hopes the players will participate. If the NHL decides not to go this route, there is a second schedule which will be released at a later date.
So, this could change. Will, probably change.
The Panthers also have a six-day break between road trips. After a west coast swing to Los Angeles, San Jose, Las vegas and Anaheim from March 13-18, the Panthers next visit Montreal on March 24.
No start times have been set by the league.
FLORIDA PANTHERS 2021-22 SCHEDULE
DATE OPPONENT TIMES/TBA
Thu. 14 Pittsburgh Sat. 15 Columbus
Sat. 16 N.Y. Islanders Tue. 18 AT Calgary
Tue. 19 AT Tampa Bay Thu. 20 AT Edmonton
Thu. 21 Colorado Fri. 21 AT Vancouver
Sat. 23 AT Philadelphia Sun. 23 AT Seattle
Mon. 25 Arizona Tue. 25 AT Winnipeg
Wed. 27 Boston Thu. 27 Vegas
Fri. 29 AT Detroit Sat. 29 San Jose
Sat. 30 AT Boston Mon. 31 AT Columbus
Thu. 4 Washington Tue. 1 AT N.Y. Rangers
Sat. 6 Carolina Thu. 24 Columbus
Mon. 8 AT N.Y. Rangers Sat. 26 Edmonton
Tue. 9 AT New Jersey
Thu. 11 AT Pittsburgh
Sat. 13 AT Tampa Bay
Tue. 16 N.Y. Islanders
Thu. 18 New Jersey
Sat. 20 Minnesota
Wed. 24 Philadelphia
Fri. 26 AT Washington
Sat. 27 Seattle
Tue. 30 Washington
Thu. 2 Buffalo Thu. 3 Ottawa
Sat. 4 St. Louis Sat. 5 Detroit
Tue. 7 AT St. Louis Fri. 4 Detroit
Fri. 10 AT Arizona Mon. 7 AT Buffalo
Sun. 12 AT Colorado Tue. 8 AT Pittsburgh
Tue. 14 Ottawa Thu. 10 Philadelphia
Thu. 16 Los Angeles Sun. 13 AT Los Angeles
Sat. 18 AT Minnesota Tue. 15 AT San Jose
Tue. 21 AT Chicago Thu. 17 AT Vegas
Thu. 23 Nashville Fri. 18 AT Anaheim
Mon. 27 AT Carolina Thu. 24 AT Montreal
Wed. 29 N.Y. Rangers Sat. 26 AT Ottawa
Thu. 30 Tampa Bay Sun. 27 AT Toronto
Tue. 29 Montreal
Thu. 31 Chicago
Sat. 1 Montreal Sat 2. AT New Jersey
Tue. 4 Calgary Sun. 3 AT Buffalo
Thu. 6 AT Dallas Tue. 5 Toronto
Sat. 8 AT Carolina Fri. 8 Buffalo
Tue. 11 Vancouver Sat. 9 AT Nashville
Fri. 14 Dallas Tue. 12 Anaheim
Fri. 15 Winnipeg
X. Sun. 17 AT Detroit
X. Tue. 19 AT N.Y. Islanders
X. Thu. 21 Detroit
X. Sat. 23 Toronto
X. Sun. 24 Tampa Bay
X. Tue. 26 AT Boston
X. Thu. 28 AT Ottawa
X. Fri. 29 AT Montreal