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Senators schedule one of a kind

Opener in Stockholm, WJC add twists to team's slate for new season

Thursday, 07.17.2008 / 12:43 PM ET / Features
By Rob Brodie  -
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Senators schedule one of a kind
It is an Ottawa Senators schedule like no other before it.

From the historic season-opener in Stockholm against the Pittsburgh Penguins to a two-week absence from Scotiabank Place during the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship, the Senators 2008-09 schedule is anything but routine.

The 82-game slate released today launches in Sweden with games Oct. 4 and 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins and finishes off on April 11 at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto with a matchup against the provincial-rival Toronto Maple Leafs.

As announced on Wednesday, the Senators play their home-opener at Scotiabank Place on Oct. 11 against the Stanley Cup-champion Detroit Red Wings. It’s the first of five straight home dates for the Senators.

Ottawa’s longest road stretch of the season coincides with the 2009 WJC. The Senators face the Dallas Stars on Dec. 20 at Scotiabank Place, then don’t return to home ice again until Jan. 10, when the New York Rangers visit the capital. In the between, the Sens face eight consecutive road games, including a Western Canada swing through Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary.

Payback time for that lengthy absence from Ottawa arrives Feb. 24, when the Senators begin a run of eight straight home games. That follows a Feb. 21 Hockey Day in Canada matchup with the Canadiens in Montreal.

That long run at home allows the Senators to avoid something that’s plagued them in previous seasons: A road-dominated schedule in March. In 2008-09, Ottawa plays eight of its 15 March games at home.

“The good news is we were finally able to get some balance that we haven’t had in a long period of time,” said Senators president and CEO Roy Mlakar. “Most of our Marches (in the past), we were heavily scheduled on the road.

“We love having the home-ice advantage at the pivotal time of the year down the stretch.”

Only in January do the Senators play more road than home games (seven of 12). Other than that, it’s no worse than an even split in each month.

“It couldn’t be much more balanced,” said Mlakar.

He also pointed out the Senators will have less back-to-back games (16 instead of 17 last season) and fewer stretches of three games in four nights (down from 23 to 17) in the season ahead.

“From a hockey perspective, that’s really, really good news,” he said. “We’ll have a more rested hockey club. We’re very pleased with it. We think we came out real well this year.”

Twenty-five of the Senators’ 40 home dates at Scotiabank Place in the new season will be played at the tail end of the week: 10 Thursdays, two Fridays and 13 Saturdays. Other home games are slated on Monday (two), Tuesday (10) and Wednesday (three).

For the first time since 2003-04, the Senators’ schedule features games against every National Hockey League team. They’ll face each of their Northeast Division rivals six times and play four games against the remaining Eastern Conference teams.

Also part of the slate are home-and-home series with the three Canadian teams from the Western Conference. In addition to the Red Wings, Ottawa will play host to each Pacific Division team (Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, Los Angeles Kings, Phoenix Coyotes and San Jose Sharks), while visiting the rest of the Central Division (Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets, Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues), along with the Northwest Division's Colorado Avalanche and Minnesota Wild.

The Senators’ pre-season schedule has been released as well. It includes home dates against the Rangers (Sept. 20), Canadiens (Sept. 27) and Philadelphia Flyers (Sept. 24), and road contests in New York (Sept. 22) and Montreal (Sept. 26).

The sixth pre-season game is against the Frolunda Indians – Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson’s former team – in his hometown of Gothenburg on Oct. 2.




1 x - MTL 77 47 22 8 203 174 102
2 x - TBL 78 47 24 7 250 204 101
3 DET 76 40 23 13 221 208 93
4 BOS 77 39 25 13 204 198 91
5 OTT 76 38 26 12 220 204 88
6 FLA 77 35 27 15 192 210 85
7 TOR 78 29 43 6 204 249 64
8 BUF 77 22 47 8 152 258 52


E. Karlsson 76 20 42 7 62
K. Turris 76 22 33 -2 55
M. Stone 74 19 35 13 54
B. Ryan 72 18 35 8 53
M. Hoffman 73 26 21 18 47
M. Zibanejad 74 19 24 0 43
M. Michalek 66 13 21 3 34
C. MacArthur 56 14 14 -11 28
D. Legwand 74 9 18 2 27
A. Chiasson 70 11 15 -4 26
C. Anderson 14 13 8 .923 2.49
R. Lehner 9 12 3 .905 3.02