The Los Angeles Kings will begin the defense of their title against the team that nearly ended their magical run before it even started.
Los Angeles will welcome the San Jose Sharks to Staples Center as part of a four-game night October 8 to kick off the 2014-15 NHL season, the League announced Saturday. The Sharks won the first three games of their first-round series against the Kings in April, only to lose four straight to Los Angeles. The Kings became the fourth team in NHL history to rally from a 3-0 deficit, then went on to win two more epic seven-game series before defeating the New York Rangers in the Stanley Cup Final.
The other games on opening night will be the Philadelphia Flyers at TD Garden to face the Boston Bruins, the Toronto Maple Leafs welcoming the Montreal Canadiens to Air Canada Centre and the Vancouver Canucks visiting the Calgary Flames at Scotiabank Saddledome.
One of the highlights the following night will be the re-branded Arizona Coyotes playing their first game since the name change, which goes into effect at the 2014 NHL Draft, against the Winnipeg Jets at Jobing.com Arena. That evening will also see 11 other teams host their home opener.
The Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche, who waged a seven-game series in the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, will start the season with a home-and-home. Minnesota defeated Colorado in Game 7 on Nino Niederreiter's overtime goal and will celebrate its first playoff series victory since 2003 at Xcel Energy Center on October 9. Colorado will then welcome the Wild to Pepsi Center two days later.
FULL LIST OF HOME OPENERS, 2014-15 SEASON
Anaheim Ducks: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota
* Arizona Coyotes: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg
Boston Bruins: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Philadelphia
Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Columbus
Calgary Flames: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Vancouver
Carolina Hurricanes: Friday, Oct. 10 vs. NY Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Buffalo
Colorado Avalanche: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota
Columbus Blue Jackets: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. NY Rangers
Dallas Stars: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Chicago
Detroit Red Wings: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Boston
Edmonton Oilers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Calgary
Florida Panthers: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. New Jersey
Los Angeles Kings: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. San Jose
Minnesota Wild: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Colorado
Montreal Canadiens: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Boston
Nashville Predators: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Ottawa
New Jersey Devils: Saturday, Oct. 18 vs. San Jose
New York Islanders: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Carolina
New York Rangers: Sunday, Oct. 12 vs. Toronto
Ottawa Senators: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Colorado
Philadelphia Flyers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. New Jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Anaheim
San Jose Sharks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Winnipeg
St. Louis Blues: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. NY Rangers
Tampa Bay Lightning: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Florida
Toronto Maple Leafs: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Montreal
Vancouver Canucks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Edmonton
Washington Capitals: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Montreal
Winnipeg Jets: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Nashville
* Franchise's name officially changes on Friday, June 27, at 2014 NHL Draft
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