Closer-to-normal Florida Panthers’ 2021-22 schedule features 82 games, trips out west and an Olympics break

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The Panthers will play a 2021-22 schedule that approaches normalcy in comparison with the past two coronavirus-ravaged seasons.

Florida is officially 84 days away from playing regular-season hockey again, with a visit by Sidney Crosby and Pittsburgh Penguins to Sunrise kicking things off on Thursday, Oct. 14 at the BB&T Center.

The COVID-19 pandemic curtailed the 2019-20 season to 56 regular-season games, and shortened last year’s to a docket shortened to 69 to 71 games (the Panthers played 69).

This past season, the regular-season schedule and first two rounds of the playoffs involved games only against division foes. That left the Panthers, with the fourth-best points total in the NHL (second only to their divisional foe, the Carolina Hurricanes, in the Eastern Conference), with a daunting first-round playoff matchup against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning.

This year, the playoffs will return to a traditional conference-top-eight setup, and games in the regular season will be played against all the other 31 teams, home and away.

Florida will travel to the Stanley Cup champions on Oct. 19 and Nov. 13, while the Lightning come to Sunrise on Dec. 30 and April 30.

The Panthers will host the runner-up of the Stanley Cup Finals, the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 1 and March 29. This will be the first matchup between the teams since March 2020.

The expansion Seattle Kraken and Florida will meet for the first time in Sunrise on Nov. 27. Florida then makes the NHL’s longest road trip for a Jan. 23 game in Seattle.

The Panthers longest homestand will be four games, and there will be four of those, while their longest road trip will run from March 13-27 over a seven-game span. Florida also will have a compact five-game sojourn from Jan. 18-25.

The Panthers will end the regular season with a game against the Canadiens on April 29 in Montreal.

In addition, there will be a Winter Olympics break in the schedule from Feb. 2-23.

Here is the regular-season schedule, as released by the NHL:

Thu., Oct. 14: Pittsburgh Penguins, TBA

Sat., Oct. 16: New York Islanders, TBA

Tue., Oct. 19: @ Tampa Bay Lightning, TBA

Thu., Oct. 21: Colorado Avalanche, TBA

Sat., Oct. 23: @ Philadelphia Flyers, TBA

Mon., Oct. 25: Arizona Coyotes TBA

Wed., Oct. 27: Boston Bruins, TBA

Fri., Oct. 29: @ Detroit Red Wings, TBA

Sat., Oct. 30: @ Boston Bruins, TBA

Thu., Nov. 4: Washington Capitals, TBA

Sat., Nov. 6: Carolina Hurricanes, TBA

Mon., Nov. 8: @ New York Rangers, TBA

Tue., Nov. 9: @ New Jersey Devils, TBA

Thu., Nov. 11: @ Pittsburgh Penguins, TBA

Sat., Nov. 13: @ Tampa Bay Lightning, TBA

Tue., Nov. 16: New York Islanders, TBA

Thu., Nov. 18: New Jersey Devils, TBA

Sat., Nov. 20: Minnesota Wild, TBA

Wed., Nov. 24: Philadelphia Flyers, TBA

Fri., Nov. 26: @ Washington Capitals, TBA

Sat., Nov. 27: Seattle Kraken, TBA

Tue., Nov. 30: Washington Capitals, TBA

Thu., Dec. 2: Buffalo Sabres, TBA

Sat., Dec. 4: St. Louis Blues, TBA

Tue., Dec. 7: @ St. Louis Blues, TBA

Fri., Dec. 10: @ Arizona Coyotes, TBA

Sun., Dec. 12: @ Colorado Avalanche, TBA

Tue., Dec. 14: Ottawa Senators, TBA

Thu., Dec. 16: Los Angeles Kings, TBA

Sat., Dec. 18: @ Minnesota Wild, TBA

Tue., Dec. 21: @ Chicago Blackhawks, TBA

Thu., Dec. 23: Nashville Predators, TBA

Mon., Dec. 27: @ Carolina Hurricanes, TBA

Wed., Dec. 29: New York Rangers, TBA

Thu., Dec. 30: Tampa Bay Lightning, TBA

Sat., Jan. 1: Montreal Canadiens, TBA

Tue., Jan. 4: Calgary Flames, TBA

Thu., Jan. 6: @ Dallas Stars, TBA

Sat., Jan. 8: @ Carolina Hurricanes, TBA

Tue., Jan. 11: Vancouver Canucks, TBA

Fri., Jan. 14: Dallas Stars, TBA

Sat., Jan. 15: Columbus Blue Jackets, TBA

Tue., Jan. 18: @ Calgary Flames, TBA

Thu., Jan. 20: @ Edmonton Oilers, TBA

Fri., Jan. 21: @ Vancouver Canucks, TBA

Sun., Jan. 23: @ Seattle Kraken, TBA

Tue., Jan. 25: @ Winnipeg Jets, TBA

Thu., Jan. 27: Las Vegas Golden Knights, TBA

Sat., Jan. 29: San Jose Sharks, TBA

Mon., Jan. 31: @ Columbus Blue Jackets, TBA

Tue., Feb. 1: @ New York Rangers, TBA

Thu., Feb. 24: Columbus Blue Jackets, TBA

Sat., Feb. 26: Edmonton Oilers, TBA

Thu., Mar. 3: Ottawa Senators, TBA

Sat., Mar. 5: Detroit Red Wings, TBA

Mon., Mar. 7: @ Buffalo Sabres, TBA

Tue., Mar. 8: @ Pittsburgh Penguins, TBA

Thu., Mar. 10: Philadelphia Flyers, TBA

Sun., Mar. 13: @ Los Angeles Kings, TBA

Tue., Mar. 15: @ San Jose Sharks, TBA

Thu., Mar. 17: @ Las Vegas Golden Knights, TBA

Fri., Mar. 18: @ Anaheim Ducks, TBA

Thu., Mar. 24: @ Montreal Canadiens, TBA

Sat., Mar. 26: @ Ottawa Senators, TBA

Sun., Mar. 27: @ Toronto Maple Leafs, TBA

Tue., Mar. 29: Montreal Canadiens, TBA

Thu., Mar. 31: Chicago Blackhawks, TBA

Sat., Apr. 2: @ New Jersey Devils, TBA

Sun., Apr. 3: @ Buffalo Sabres, TBA

Tue., Apr. 5: Toronto Maple Leafs, TBA

Fri., Apr. 8: Buffalo Sabres, TBA

Sat., Apr. 9: @ Nashville Predators, TBA

Tue., Apr. 12: Anaheim Ducks, TBA

Fri., Apr. 15: Winnipeg Jets, TBA

Sun., Apr. 17: @ Detroit Red Wings, TBA

Tue., Apr. 19: @ New York Islanders, TBA

Thu., Apr. 21: Detroit Red Wings, TBA

Sat., Apr. 23: Toronto Maple Leafs, TBA

Sun., Apr. 24: Tampa Bay Lightning, TBA

Tue., Apr. 26: @ Boston Bruins, TBA

Thu., Apr. 28: @ Ottawa Senators, TBA

Fri., Apr. 29: @ Montreal Canadiens, TBA

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