Breaking Down the 2012-13 Schedule
With the Carolina Hurricanes’ 2012-13 schedule released, here’s a quick look at some highlights.
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On the Road Again
The Hurricanes will kick off the 2012-13 campaign on a season-long six-game road trip while the North Carolina State Fair is in town. The near two-week trek will take the Canes through Winnipeg, Vancouver, Anaheim, Los Angeles, San Jose and Boston.
A couple of highlights from the trip include starting the season in Winnipeg in the afternoon; the Canes will face the Jets six times, as the team remains in the Southeast Division for at least another year. In the fourth game of the season, Carolina will meet up with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings in the two teams’ lone meeting.
Home Opening Weekend
The Hurricanes will open at PNC Arena on Friday, Oct. 26 against the New York Rangers. That will be followed up by a Sunday afternoon matinee against the Columbus Blue Jackets – one of three Western Conference teams the Canes will play twice – to cap off a late-October home opening weekend.
New Year’s Eve Game Returns
After spending the early New Year’s evening in Tampa Bay in 2011, the Canes will host the Montreal Canadiens on Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. this year. This will mark the first time since 2009 that the Hurricanes have hosted a New Year’s Eve game, and since the lockout, the team’s record is 2-3 in those games. Carolina topped Montreal 5-3 in the 2005 New Year’s Eve game.
Between mid-February and mid-March, the Hurricanes will play 10 of 11 games at PNC Arena, including a season-high seven straight from Feb. 15 until March 2. A medley of opponents will make their way to Raleigh in this stretch, including Boston and Pittsburgh twice and a one-time visit from the Edmonton Oilers. In total, the Hurricanes will play 20 of their final 33 games at PNC Arena.
Western Conference Matchups
The Hurricanes will play home-and-home sets with Anaheim, Phoenix and Columbus this season. They will face all other Western Conference teams once, with the location breakdown as follows:
Home only: Calgary, Colorado, Detroit, Edmonton, Minnesota, Nashville
Road only: Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, San Jose, St. Louis, Vancouver
Odds and Ends
Trending downward from the last two seasons, there are 14 back-to-back sets on the schedule, compared to 16 last season and 21 from 2010-11. Not unusually, all but two involves travel; Carolina will play host to Buffalo and Minnesota on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 and will face Boston and New Jersey at home on consecutive nights in mid-February. … The Canes play 11 Saturday away games, including eight straight to begin the season. … There are nine Sunday games on the schedule, six of which will be played at PNC Arena. Of those six, three are at 1:30 and three are at 5. Last season, the Canes hosted just two Sunday afternoon games.