When does the NHL regular season start? Opening games, schedule, dates for all 32 teams entering 2023-24

The countdown to opening night in the NHL has begun. 

We are just single-digit days away from hockey officially returning, with the 2023-24 NHL regular season on the horizon.

Last year had it all — Connor McDavid scoring 60 goals, the Bruins setting regular-season records for points and wins, the career resurgence of Erik Karlsson and a first-time Stanley Cup champion in the Golden Knights. 

This year, one of the league’s biggest and brightest stars is a teenager who hasn’t played in a regular season game yet — Connor Bedard. The No. 1 pick from this year’s draft is set to begin his rookie year with the Blackhawks and his debut comes on opening night in the NHL. 

MORE: The NHL’s highest-paid players in 2023-24

Here’s a breakdown of the NHL’s first week of the season.

When does the 2023-24 NHL season start?

  • NHL season start date: Tuesday, Oct. 10
  • NHL season end date: Thursday, April 18

This year’s NHL campaign begins on Tuesday, Oct. 10 with three games on the slate for opening night. 

The regular season is scheduled to wrap up on Thursday, April 18. Not every team will be in action, as there are only six games scheduled on that day. 

What games are on national TV in the first week?

The NHL kicks off the 2023-24 season with a triple header on ESPN. The first game on the docket is a matchup between the Predators and the Lightning in Tampa.

The headliner is Connor Bedard’s NHL debut, as the Blackhawks face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins at 8 p.m. ET. In the late slate, the Golden Knights will raise their 2023 Stanley Cup banner, as the defending champions host the Kraken in Las Vegas. 

The next night, TNT will have a doubleheader on its channel. Bedard gets the national treatment again, as the Blackhawks head to Boston to face the Bruins in the early time slot. Later at night, the Kings host the 2022 Stanley Cup champion Avalanche.

Here is the national TV schedule for the first week of games. 

Date Matchup Time TV Channel
Tuesday, Oct. 10 Predators at Lightning 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Tuesday, Oct. 10 Blackhawks at Penguins 8 p.m. ESPN
Tuesday, Oct. 10 Kraken at Golden Knights  10:30 p.m. ESPN
Wednesday, Oct. 11 Blackhawks at Bruins 7:30 p.m.  TNT
Wednesday, Oct. 11 Avalanche at Kings 10 p.m. TNT

NHL 2023-24 opening week schedule 

Here is how the first week of the NHL season shapes up. 

Tuesday, Oct. 10

Matchup Time (ET)
Predators at Lightning 5:30 p.m.
Blackhawks at Penguins 8 p.m.
Kraken at Golden Knights     10:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 11

Matchup Time (ET)
Canadiens at Maple Leafs     7 p.m.
Senators at Hurricanes 7 p.m.
Blackhawks at Bruins 7:30 p.m.
Jets at Flames        10 p.m.
Oilers at Canucks 10 p.m.
Avalanche at Kings 10 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 12

Matchup Time (ET)
Rangers at Sabres 7 p.m.
Flyers at Blue Jackets 7 p.m.
Red Wings at Devils 7:30 p.m.
Kraken at Predators 8 p.m.
Blues at Stars 9 p.m.
Panthers at Wild 8 p.m.
Golden Knights at Sharks     10:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 13

Matchup  Time (ET)
Coyotes at Devils 7 p.m.
Penguins at Capitals             7:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 14

Matchup Time (ET)
Flyers at Senators 1 p.m.
Panthers at Jets 4 p.m.
Predators at Bruins 7 p.m.
Wild at Maple Leafs 7 p.m.
Blackhawks at Canadiens    7 p.m.
Lightning at Red Wings 7 p.m.
Flames at Penguins 7 p.m.
Rangers at Blue Jackets 7 p.m.
Sabres at Islanders 7:30 p.m.
Kraken at Blues 8 p.m.
Canucks at Oilers 10 p.m.
Ducks at Golden Knights 10 p.m.
Avalanche at Sharks 10 p.m.
Hurricanes at Kings 10:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 15

Matchup  Time (ET)
Lightning at Senators           7 p.m.
Hurricanes at Ducks 8:30 p.m.

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