Sabres' season opens at Detroit on Oct. 2; home-opener set for Oct. 4 vs. Ottawa
The Buffalo Sabres and the NHL today announced the team's 2013-14 regular-season schedule. The variable pricing designations and box office pricing for individual games will be released at a later date.
The team's season-opener is scheduled for Oct. 2 against the Red Wings, a new Eastern Conference and divisional foe, in Detroit. The Sabres then return to Buffalo for the team's home-opener against another division rival, the Ottawa Senators, on Oct. 4 at First Niagara Center.
The Sabres will play on consecutive nights a franchise-low 13 times in 2013-14 after leading the league in back-to-back sets during each of the past two full-length seasons (2011-12, 2010-11). In the team's 42-season history, the Sabres have averaged 20 back-to-back sets per year in full-length seasons. Since the 2004-05 lockout, they have played the most in the league.
After a league-wide conference realignment was agreed upon this offseason, Buffalo will play its 82-game schedule with the following breakdown: 30 games against divisional opponents (five games vs. two teams and four games vs. five teams, with teams rotated on a yearly basis); 24 games against non-divisional opponents in the Eastern Conference (three games vs. each team); 28 games against non-conference teams (two games vs. each team).
As a result of the realignment, the Sabres will play more games against new divisional opponents Detroit (four times in 2013-14), Florida (four times), and Tampa Bay (four times), as well an extra game (three total in 2013-14) against new conference opponent Columbus.
Buffalo's busiest month is October, with the team playing a total of 15 games in 31 days. Its lightest-scheduled month is February, with six scheduled games, when the league will take a two-week break to accommodate the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The team has five three-game home stands throughout the season, the first of which occurs from Oct. 12-23. The longest stretch of away games for the team is a five-game road swing from March 18-27.
Seven 2013-14 dates are slated as matinee games, with four of them (Nov. 24, Dec. 14, Dec. 29 and April 13) occurring at home.