Old and new rivalries as 2013/14 Philadelphia Flyers schedule released

Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

By David Strehle (@David_Strehle)
The National Hockey League finally released its 2013/14 regular season schedule Friday afternoon, a little more than two days longer than most had expected after numerous reliable sources had said the league was aiming for a July 17 release. The delay had to do with negotiations between the league, the NHLPA, and the IIHF regarding players’ participation in the upcoming Olympic Games in February. The NHL announced Friday morning that the issue had been resolved, and the league will shut down operations for a two week period from February 9-26.

With the release, the Philadelphia Flyers now know exactly where and when they will be playing as they look to rebound from the disappointment of last year’s non-playoff finish. They open up at home on October 2 against the Toronto Maple Leafs to officially kick off their portion of the campaign, with a new-look NHL sporting brand new divisions and conferences after realignment.

The Flyers will still have the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, and New York Islanders in the newly-formed Metropolitan Division, with the additions of the Columbus Blue Jackets, Washington Capitals, and Carolina Hurricanes to round out the eight-team bracket.

Philadelphia will be idle from February 8 through 27 due to the NHL’s Olympic participation.

Some important dates to mark on your calendar include:

October 17 marks the first meeting of the year with Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and the rest of the Penguins, as the Flyers renew one of the hottest rivalries in all of professional sports. The teams will also faceoff at the Wells Fargo Center March 15 (1 p.m. in first match of a home-and-home set), as well as in Pittsburgh on  November 13 (8 p.m.), March 16 (7:30 p.m. as back end of the home-and-home), and April 12 (3 p.m.). Philadelphia finished with a 1-2-1 mark against the Pens during the abbreviated 2012/13 lockout-shortened campaign, with their lone win coming in a wild 6-5 February 20 triumph at CONSOL Energy Center in which Jakub Voracek netted his first career hat trick by scoring the game-winning goal late in regulation. March 7 provided perhaps the biggest blow to Philly’s playoff hopes when they squandered a 4-1 first period lead in an eventual 5-4 loss at the Wells Fargo Center.

Games against the perennial arch-rival New York Rangers will be October 24 in Philadelphia (7 p.m.), January 12 (7 p.m. at Madison Square Garden), March 1 (1 p.m. at home), and March 26 (8 p.m. at MSG) . After dropping all six outings to the Blue Shirts in 2011/12 the Flyers were 2-3-0 against the Rangers last year, winning the first and last meetings. The 2-1 victory on January 24 was their initial triumph of the season after opening with three losses, and the 4-2 home win on April 16 was goaltender Steve Mason’s first victory in a Flyers uniform after being acquired from Columbus on April 3.

As the first half of a home-and-home set December 19 will be the first time Philadelphia goes head-to-head with former-Flyers netminder and last year’s Vezina Trophy-winner Sergei Bobrovsky and the team’s new division rival Columbus Blue Jackets, and it will be Bobrovsky’s first appearance at the Wells Fargo Center in a Columbus uniform. The last time Bobrovsky played in Philly was March 31, 2012 when he made 26 saves in a 4-3 Flyers shootout loss to the Ottawa Senators. It could also conceivably be the first time Mason faces his old club, depending on how Peter Laviolette’s probable rotation of Mason and Ray Emery plays out. The clubs also face off against one another December 21 (7 p.m. in Columbus), January 23 (7 p.m. in Columbus), and April 3 (7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center).

Games against old and new division rivals:

New Jersey Devils – Philadelphia takes on a team that has be-deviled them through the years on November 2 (7 p.m. at Prudential Center), November 7 (7 p.m. at home), January 7 (7:30 p.m. in New Jersey), and March 11 (7 p.m. in Philly). After falling to NJ in the 2012 Eastern Conference SemiFinal the Flyers once again did not fare well against their North East neighbors last season, managing just six goals in regulation against New Jersey’s stifling defensive system while yielding 17 en route to a 1-4-0 record. Their only victory came on March 15 in the back end of a home-and-home series in a 2-1 shootout win. The Devils lost vital offensive contributors Ilya Kovalchuk (retired) and David Clarkson (free agent signed with Toronto), two skaters that played key roles in their domination of Philly. But NJ still has Martin Brodeur between the pipes, and the Flyers have been the club he has had the most success against during his legendary Hall-of-Fame career.

New York Islanders – After years of domination Philadelphia put up a 2-1-1 record against the Isles last season, which included a mid-February matinee 7-0 Flyers drubbing of the Islanders in front of the home fans. With John Tavares having taken the next step to being considered a consistent NHL superstar last year, the rivalry should get back more to the days of the early 1980′s when the Islanders won four consecutive Stanley Cups. New Flyers defenseman and ex-NYI captain Mark Streit, whose rights were acquired by Paul Holmgren and signed to a five-year contract just prior to the opening of the free agency period, will play against his former teammates for the first time on the Island on October 26 (7 p.m.), and the clubs will also battle it out on November 23 (7 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center), a home-and-home set on January 18 (7 p.m. at home) and January 20 (1 p.m. at Nassau Coliseum).

Carolina Hurricanes – The Flyers and ‘Canes will go head-to-head October 6 (5 p.m. in Raleigh), November 5 (7:30 in Raleigh), January 21 (7 p.m. at home), and the regular season finale on April 13 (3 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center). As part of Philly’s excellent results versus the old Southeast Division last season, their record against Carolina was a perfect 3-0-0. Included in the victories were a 4-3 overtime win (Danny Briere GWG) at home, and Wayne Simmonds’ first career NHL hat trick in a 5-3 win in Raleigh. There really hasn’t been much of a rivalry developed between these new division foes as the Flyers are 20-2-2 in their last 24 outings against Eric Staal and the Hurricanes, but chances are that will occur pretty quickly this season.

Washington Capitals – After ending 2013 with a 2-1-0 mark against Washington, the teams will meet November 1 (7 p.m. at home), and a pair of home-and-home series December 15 (3 p.m. in Washington) and December 17 (7:30 p.m. in Philly), and March 2 (12:30 p.m. at Verizon Center) and March 5 (8 p.m. at Wells Fargo Center). Last season’s late-March 5-4 OT triumph over the Caps was marked by blowing a lead then mounting an incredible comeback, as defenseman Kimmo Timonen tied the game with less than 10 seconds left in regulation before Ruslan Fedetenko provided the game-winner early in the extra period. This was also the contest in which Voracek earned his first NHL fight and Max Talbot suffered a broken leg. There is a bit of a rivalry smoldering between the clubs, as Joffrey Lupul’s series-winning goal in overtime of Game 7 closed out what was a bitter 2009 postseason first-round clash. Look for more of the same as these two teams connected by I-95 become even better acquainted as divisional adversaries.

Other notable dates:

October 11 marks the first time the Flyers will go up against a Western Conference club in over a year when the Phoenix Coyotes come to town (7 p.m. faceoff).

Fans won’t have to wait long at all to get a glimpse of Danny Briere in his new Canadiens’ garb, as the teams meet in the second game of the Flyers’ season on October 5) in Montreal. Briere makes his initial Philadelphia appearance with the Habs on December 12.

Vincent Lecavalier makes his first return trip to Tampa Bay when the Flyers take on the Lightning on November 27.

Emery will get a shot to go up against his old teammates on December 11 (8 p.m.) when the Flyers take on the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The champs visit Philadelphia on March 18 at 7:30 p.m.

The Winnipeg Jets will provide the competition during the annual Black Friday game on November 29. A time has not yet been set for the contest.

You can ring in the New Year with the Flyers as you watch them take on the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome on December 31 at 9 p.m.

The complete 2013/14 Philadelphia Flyers schedule (all times EST):

  1. Wednesday, October 2 Toronto Maple Leafs @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  2. Saturday, October 5 FLYERS @ Montreal Canadiens 7:00 p.m.
  3. Sunday, October 6 FLYERS @ Carolina Hurricanes  5 p.m.
  4. Tuesday, October 8 Florida Panthers @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  5. Friday, October 11 Phoenix Coyotes @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  6. Saturday, October 12 FLYERS @ Detroit Red Wings 7 p.m.
  7. Tuesday, October 15 Vancouver Canucks @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  8. Thursday, October 17 Pittsburgh Penguins @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  9. Thursday, October 24 New York Rangers @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  10. Saturday, October 26 FLYERS @ New York Islanders 7 p.m.
  11. Tuesday, October 29 Anaheim Ducks @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  12. Friday, November 1 Washington Capitals @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  13. Saturday, November 2 FLYERS @ New Jersey Devils 7 p.m.
  14. Tuesday, November 5 FLYERS @ Carolina Hurricanes 7:30 p.m.
  15. Thursday, November 7 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  16. Saturday, November 9 Edmonton Oilers @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  17. Tuesday, November 12 FLYERS @ Ottawa Senators 7:30 p.m.
  18. Wednesday, November 13 FLYERS @ Pittsburgh Penguins 8 p.m.
  19. Friday, November 15 FLYERS @ Winnipeg Jets 8 p.m.
  20. Tuesday, November 19 Ottawa Senators @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  21. Thursday, November 21 Buffalo Sabres @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  22. Saturday, November 23 New York Islanders @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  23. Monday, November 25 FLYERS @ Florida Panthers 7:30 p.m.
  24. Wednesday, November 27 FLYERS @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 p.m.
  25. Friday, November 29 Winnipeg Jets @ FLYERS TBA
  26. Saturday, November 30 FLYERS @ Nashville Predators 8 p.m.
  27. Monday, December 2 FLYERS @ Minnesota Wild 8 p.m.
  28.  Wednesday, December 4 FLYERS @ Detroit Red Wings 8 p.m.
  29. Saturday, December 7 FLYERS @ Dallas Stars 8 p.m.
  30. Monday, December 9 FLYERS @ Ottawa Senators 7:30 p.m.
  31. Wednesday, December 11 FLYERS @ Chicago Blackhawks 8 p.m.
  32. Thursday, December 12 Montreal Canadiens @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  33. Sunday, December 15 FLYERS @ Washington Capitals 3 p.m.
  34. Tuesday, December 17 Washington Capitals @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  35. Thursday, December 19 Columbus Blue Jackets @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  36. Saturday, December 21 FLYERS @ Columbus Blue Jackets 7 p.m.
  37. Monday, December 23 Minnesota Wild @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  38. Saturday, December 28 FLYERS @ Edmonton Oilers 10 p.m.
  39. Monday, December 30 FLYERS @ Vancouver Canucks 10 p.m.
  40. Tuesday, December 31 FLYERS @ Calgary Flames 9 p.m.
  41. Thursday, January 2 FLYERS @ Colorado Avalanche 9 p.m.
  42. Saturday, January 4 FLYERS @ Phoenix Coyotes 8 p.m.
  43. Tuesday, January 7 FLYERS @ New Jersey Devils 7:30 p.m.
  44. Wednesday, January 8 Montreal Canadiens @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  45. Saturday, January 11 Tampa Bay Lightning @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  46. Sunday, January 12 FLYERS @ New York Rangers 7 p.m.
  47. Tuesday, January 14 FLYERS @ Buffalo Sabres 7:30 p.m.
  48. Thursday, January 16 Nashville Predators @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  49. Saturday, January 18 New York Islanders @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  50. Monday, January 20 FLYERS @ New York Islanders 1 p.m.
  51. Tuesday, January 21 Carolina Hurricanes @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  52. Thursday, January 23 FLYERS @ Columbus Blue Jackets 7 p.m.
  53. Saturday, January 25 Boston Bruins @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  54. Tuesday, January 28 Detroit Red Wings @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  55. Thursday, January 30 FLYERS @ Anaheim Ducks 10 p.m.
  56. Saturday, February 1 FLYERS @ Los Angeles Kings 4 p.m.
  57. Monday, February 3 FLYERS @ San Jose Sharks 10:30 p.m.
  58. Thursday, February 6 Colorado Avalanche @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  59. Saturday, February 8 Calgary Flames @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  60. Thursday, February 27 San Jose Sharks @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  61. Saturday, March 1 New York Rangers @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  62. Saturday, March 2 FLYERS @ Washington Capitals 12:30 p.m.
  63. Wednesday, March 5 Washington Capitals @ FLYERS 8 p.m.
  64. Saturday, March 8 FLYERS @ Toronto Maple Leafs 7 p.m
  65. Tuesday, March 11 New Jersey Devils @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  66. Saturday, March 15 Pittsburgh Penguins @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  67. Sunday, March 16 FLYERS @ Pittsburgh Penguins 7:30 p.m.
  68. Tuesday, March 18 Chicago Blackhawks @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  69. Thursday, March 20 Dallas Stars @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  70. Saturday, March 22 St. Louis Blues @ FLYERS 1 p.m.
  71. Monday, March 24 Los Angeles Kings @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  72. Wednesday, March 26 FLYERS @ New York Rangers 8 p.m.
  73. Friday, March 28 Toronto Maple Leafs @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  74. Sunday, March 30 Boston Bruins @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  75. Tuesday, April 1 FLYERS @ St. Louis Blues 8 p.m.
  76. Thursday, April 3 Columbus Blue Jackets @ FLYERS 7 p.m.
  77. Saturday, April 5 FLYERS @ Boston Bruins 1 p.m.
  78. Sunday, April 6 Buffalo Sabres @ FLYERS 7:30 p.m.
  79. Tuesday, April 8 FLYERS @ Florida Panthers 7:30 p.m.
  80. Thursday, April 10 FLYERS @ Tampa Bay Lightning 7:30 p.m.
  81. Saturday, April 12 FLYERS @ Pittsburgh Penguins 3 p.m.
  82. Sunday, April 13 Carolina Hurricanes @ FLYERS 3 p.m.

Training camp to open September 12

Via Flyers’ PR, the club’s 2013 training camp opens up on September 12 at the Wells Fargo Center, with practices free and open to the public on September 12-14.

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