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Florida Panthers 2018-19 schedule released - NHL Entry Draft starts tonight

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Cats open with Tampa Bay on October 6

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

The Florida Panthers will open their 25th anniversary season, which contains a league-leading 17 back-to-backs, on the road against cross-state rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday, October 6, before hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday, October 11 at 7 P.M. for their home opener at BB&T Center.

The Panthers will play a total of 82 regular season games with 40 games played at BB&T Center.

The schedule is highlighted by 14 Saturday home games, five Sunday home games and two international games as part of the NHL Global Series against the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 in Helsinki, Finland.

The Panthers regular season finale is set for Saturday, April 6 against the New Jersey Devils.

SCHEDULE BREAKDOWN

Florida plays 28 games within the Atlantic Division this season with four games (two home and two away) against the Boston Bruins, Buffalo Sabres, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Panthers will play 24 games against teams from the Metropolitan Division and 30 games (one home and one away) against the Western Conference.

HOCKEY NIGHTS IN SOUTH FLORIDA

The Cats will host a season-high 14 home games on Saturday this season, five on Sunday, three on Monday, four on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, eight on Thursday and five on Friday.

SUNSHINE SHOWDOWN

Opening the season on the road against their cross-state rivals in Tampa Bay (October 6), the Panthers will face the Lightning at Amalie Arena once more on November 21 before hosting them in South Florida for their final two regular season match-ups, on December 1, and February 10.

FINLAND

The Cats will face the Winnipeg Jets in two match-ups at Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, November 1 and Friday, November 2 as part of the NHL Global Series. The two overseas contests mark the second time in franchise history the Panthers have played regular season games in Finland, having previously played two regular season games to open the 2009-10 season against the Chicago Blackhawks at Hartwall Arena. Florida will serve as the ‘home team’ on Nov. 1 and the ‘road team’ for Nov. 2.

ORIGINAL SIX

Florida will host 10 games this season at BB&T Center against ‘Original Six’ teams. The Panthers will host Boston twice (Dec.4, March 23), Chicago once (Nov. 24), Detroit twice (Oct. 20, March 10), Montreal twice (Dec. 28, Feb. 17), the New York Rangers once (Dec. 8) and Toronto twice (Dec. 15, Jan. 18).

ON THE ROAD AGAIN… HOME SWEET HOME

Florida’s season-high six-game road trip is followed by the club’s season-high eight-game home stand. Over the Panthers stretch of six road games from Nov. 13-23 they will visit Philadelphia, Columbus, NY Rangers, Ottawa, Tampa Bay and Carolina.

The Panthers eight-game home stand from Nov. 24-Dec. 8 marks the longest stretch of home games the Panthers will play this season. Over the season-high eight-game home stand, the Panthers will host Chicago, New Jersey, Anaheim, Buffalo, Tampa Bay, Boston, Colorado, and NY Rangers.

HOCKEY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

The Panthers will host a two-game holiday home stand between Christmas and New Year’s this season as they face-off against Montreal (Dec. 28) and Philadelphia (Dec. 29).

DEFENDING THE TERRITORY

The month of February holds the most home games for the Panthers in the 2018-19 season. The Cats will play 11 of their 15 games at BB&T Center.

CELEBRATING 25 YEARS

In honor of the Panthers 25th anniversary season, each Friday and Saturday home game of the season will celebrate the history of the franchise with ‘Flashback Fridays’ and ‘Legacy Saturdays’. Stay tuned to FloridaPanthers.com/promotions for more information.

Back by popular demand, each Thursday home game of the season will be ‘$5 Beer Thursdays’.

THEME NIGHTS

Major Panthers theme and promotional nights this season will include the return of fan favorites like Star Wars Night, Panther Conservation Night, Military Appreciation Night, Pride Night, Kids Takeover Night, as well as Hockey Fights Cancer Night and more.

START TIMES & MATINEE MATCH-UPS

All Panthers home games will begin at 7 P.M. with the exception of five weekend games: Sunday, November 11 vs. Ottawa (5 P.M.), Sunday, February 10 vs. Tampa Bay (6 P.M.), Saturday, February 23 vs. Los Angeles (5 P.M.), Sunday, March 3 vs. Ottawa (5 P.M.) and Sunday, March 10 vs. Detroit (5 P.M.)

DOWNLOAD THE SCHEDULE

Fans can download and sync their schedule for Outlook, Ical and more at nhl.calreply.net/panthers

2018 NHL ENTRY DRAFT

The 2018 NHL Entry Draft gets underway tonight at American Airlines Center in Dallas. The league’s 31 teams will make their first round selections tonight, rounds 2-7 will take place tomorrow. LBC’s annual draft thread will go live at 4 P.M.

PANTHERS DRAFT PICKS

· FIRST ROUND – 15th overall

· SECOND ROUND [via Arizona] – 34th overall

· SIXTH ROUND – 184th overall

· SEVENTH ROUND – 201st overall

· SEVENTH ROUND [via San Jose] – 207th overall

TELEVISION BROADCAST INFORMATION

· NBCSN (Round 1) – 7:30-10 P.M. [ET]

· NHL Network (Rounds 2-7) – 10:30 A.M. – 1 P.M. [ET]

RADIO BROADCAST INFORMATION

· Doug Plagens and Randy Moller on 560 WQAM

o Friday (First Round) – 7-9 P.M.

o Saturday (Rounds 2-7) – 11 A.M. – 1 P.M.