PITTSBURGH - The NHL released its 2014-15 regular season schedule Sunday afternoon.
The Pittsburgh Penguins will open the season on Thursday, Oct. 9, at Consol Energy Center against the Anaheim Ducks. The game will begin at 7 p.m.
Two days later the Penguins hit the road for the first time when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, Oct. 11, at 7 p.m. at Air Canada Centre.
Pittsburgh will play seven of its first 10 games at home, including the first meeting of the year against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at 8 p.m. and a visit from the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m.
The Penguins’ longest homestand of the year is a four-game stretch that begins with a New Year’s Eve contest against the Carolina Hurricanes on Dec. 31 and continues with games versus a trio of 2014 Eastern Conference playoff teams -- Tampa Bay, Montreal and Boston -- that concludes on Jan. 7.
Pittsburgh’s longest stretch of consecutive road games is five between Nov. 4-14 that includes visits to Minnesota, Winnipeg, Buffalo, the New York Rangers and Toronto.
During the ’14-15 regular season the Penguins will have 17 sets of back-to-back games beginning Oct. 22 with a home game against Philadelphia and concluding with a visit to Detroit the next night.
The Penguins’ 82-game regular season slate includes 30 games against fellow Metropolitan Division foes, 24 games against teams from the Atlantic Division and 28 games against teams from the Western Conference.
Pittsburgh will play five games against the New York Islanders (3 home; 2 away) and New Jersey Devils (2 home; 3 away), and four games (2 home and 2 away) against the other five Metro Division teams.
The Penguins will play three games each against the eight teams in the Atlantic Division – either two at home and one away or one at home and twice away. Teams that the Penguins will play twice at home are Detroit, Boston, Florida and Tampa Bay. Pittsburgh will play Toronto, Buffalo, Montreal and Ottawa just once at home.
Other schedule notables include:
- The Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers visit Pittsburgh for the first time Saturday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.
- The Penguins and Columbus Blue Jackets renew their budding rivalry that now includes a thrilling First Round playoff series this past April that featured five one-goal games on Saturday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena.
- Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning play their first game in Pittsburgh on Monday, Dec. 15; Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals make their first visit on Saturday, Dec. 27; and the Chicago Blackhawks, and their high-flying duo of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane will be at CONSOL Energy Center on Wednesday, Jan. 21.
- Pittsburgh makes its annual trek through Western Canada Feb. 4-7 with games against Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver; the Penguins visit the West Coast March 4-9 with stops in Colorado, Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose.
CLICK HERE for the entire schedule on NHL.com.
The Pittsburgh Penguins official website contributed to this report.