NHL releases 2020-21 regular season schedule


FILE – In this Nov. 24, 2019, file photo, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Linus Ullmark (35) is congratulated by center Sam Reinhart (23) after the Sabres defeated the Florida Panthers 5-2 in an NHL hockey game in Sunrise, Fla. On Sunday, Oct 25, 2020, Buffalo signed Reinhart to a one-year, $5.2 million contract, and Ullmark to a one-year $2.6 million deal. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The 2020-21 NHL regular season will start on Wednesday, January 13th, 2021. The Buffalo Sabres will play in the East Division along with the Boston Bruins, the New York Rangers, the New York Islanders, the Philadelphia Flyers, the Pittsburgh Penguins, the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals.

This season marks the first in 50 years that all three New York teams will play in the same division.

The Sabres will open up the season on Thursday, January 14th as they play host to the Capitals at the Key Bank Center.

The 2020-21 National Hockey League season opener schedule. Courtesy NHL

Each team will play a 56-game season, with each team in the East, Central and West divisions playing every other team in its division eight times. The NHL and NHLPA agreed on playing exclusively intradivisional games to minimize team travel as much as possible.

The season will conclude on Saturday, May 8th when 30 of the League’s 31 teams take to the ice.

Formal training camps will begin on January 3rd. There will be no preseason games.

The top four teams in each division will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with intradivisional play in the first two rounds (1 vs. 4, 2 vs. 3). The top four teams that advance to the Semifinal Round will be seeded by their regular season points total, with the 1 seed playing the 4 seed in one series, and the 2 seed playing the 3 seed in the other.

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