Season openers have not gone the Sabres’ way lately. Buffalo can turn it around against the team that extended the losing streak.
The Sabres will open the 2017-18 season at home, hosting the Montreal Canadiens at 7 p.m. Oct. 5 in KeyBank Center. Buffalo’s second game will be on the road when it visits the New York Islanders at 7 p.m. Oct. 7.
The full 82-game schedule will be released at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Buffalo has lost four straight home openers and four straight season openers. The latest was when the Canadiens earned a 4-1 victory to start the 2016-17 season. Buffalo last opened the regular or home schedules with a win Jan. 20, 2013, when it beat Philadelphia, 5-2.
The Sabres are 24-18-4 in season openers and 21-19-6 in home openers. They are 17-9-4 when opening the season at home.
Sabres fans are accustomed to welcoming Montreal to their season-opening party. This will be the fifth time in 12 seasons that Montreal uses the visiting dressing room first. The Canadiens were also the first team to ever play in Buffalo on Oct. 15, 1970.
The Sabres catch a break in their second game. Although the Islanders will be celebrating their home opener in Barclays Center, they’ll be doing so in a back-to-back situation. The Isles are the visitors for the Columbus Blue Jackets’ home opener Oct. 6.
The NHL season will begin Oct. 4 with four games, including the start of Pittsburgh’s march toward a third straight Stanley Cup. The Penguins will host St. Louis, while Winnipeg hosts Toronto, Calgary visits Edmonton and Philadelphia goes to San Jose.
There are at eight games Oct. 5, including the Sabres. The Thursday night matchups will include Nashville at Boston, Colorado at the New York Rangers, Washington at Ottawa, Minnesota at Detroit, Arizona at Anaheim, Philadelphia at Los Angeles and Pittsburgh at Chicago.
The NHL's newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, will play their inaugural game Oct. 6 in Dallas. The home opener for Vegas is Oct. 10 against Arizona.