Unlike last season, fans won’t have to wait until January for the return of NHL hockey. With teams set to return to the regular 82-game slate beginning on Oct. 1, it will surely be a welcome return for the many diehard fans itching for a full dose of hockey this season. Visit Vivid Seats for a complete selection of NHL tickets on sale all year long.
NHL Opening Night 2013 Matchups
Canadiens vs. Maple Leafs | Bell Centre, Montreal
There’s no better way to kick off the 2013-14 NHL season than with a pair of Original Six franchises comprising one of hockey’s greatest rivalries. The Toronto Maple Leafs are coming off their first return to the playoffs since the 2003-04 season, while the Montreal Canadiens will be hoping for better luck this year after falling in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal to the Ottawa Senators.
Blackhawks vs. Capitals | United Center, Chicago
It’s been a short summer for the Chicago Blackhawks, who took home their second Stanley Cup in four years this past June. The defending champions have made a few notable moves in the offseason, including trading Michael Frolik and Dave Bolland (who scored the Stanley Cup-winning goal) for several picks in the draft, in which the Blackhawks selected Ryan Hartman, Carl Dahlstrom, and John Hayden. Although there have been several roster changes, the core of the team is back for action this year, including Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp, and Patrick Kane.
To open the season, the Blackhawks will host the Washington Capitals, who finished with a 27-18 record last season en route to claiming the top spot in the Southeast Division. The Capitals’ stay in the postseason was short-lived, however, as the team was upset by the New York Rangers in the first round. Washington will surely be looking to returning stars like Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mike Green to once again propel the offense, which ranked fourth in the NHL last year with an average of three goals per game.
Oilers vs. Jets | Rexall Place, Edmonton
After narrowly missing a playoff berth last year, the Winnipeg Jets and Edmonton Oilers are back and both vying to redeem themselves in 2013-14. The Oilers are under different leadership from last year, with new head coach Dallas Eakins now at the helm. Personnel-wise, the return of center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins after shoulder surgery in April will certainly be a bright spot on the roster.
The Jets, meanwhile, are on the brink of great success, with Blake Wheeler, Bryan Little, and Evander Kane set to take the ice this season. The Jets have also benefitted from deals with the Blackhawks, which have resulted in the addition of players like Dustin Byfuglien, Andrew Ladd, and Michael Frolik.
Other Notable Opening-Month Contests
Bruins vs. Red Wings - Oct. 5, Oct. 14
Blackhawks vs. Islanders - Oct. 11
Maple Leafs vs. Penguins - Oct. 26
Islanders vs. Rangers - Oct. 29