Dan Bylsma returns to Pittsburgh on Oct. 29. ©2015, Dan Hickling, Olean Times Herald

2015-16 Sabres schedule has interesting dates, new wrinkles

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Before I run to catch a cab to switch hotels, here are some highlights from the 2015-16 Buffalo Sabres schedule the NHL released this morning.

– The Sabres, and perhaps the Jack Eichel era, open Oct. 8 at home against the Ottawa Senators at the First Niagara Center. They open with a season-high three-game home stand, one of seven on the schedule. The Sabres also don’t have a road trip more than three games, something unusual.

– Eichel, assuming he leaves college, would face No. 1 pick Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 6 in Edmonton and March 1 in Buffalo.

– The Sabres host the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mike Babcock, the coach the Sabres wooed last month, twice: Oct. 21 and March 31.

– New Sabres coach Dan Bylsma returns to Pittsburgh to face the Penguins, a team he led for six seasons, Oct. 29.

– Eichel would face his hometown Bruins for the first time Dec. 26 in Boston.

– The Sabres face the Jets for the first time since the Tyler Myers-Evander Kane blockbuster deal Jan. 10 in Winnipeg. The Jets visit Buffalo on March 26.

– South Buffalo native Patrick Kane and the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks visit Dec. 19.

– The Sabres have 10 home afternoon games, including seven 1 p.m. Saturday starts.

Here’s the rest of the schedule:

1 Thursday October 8 OTTAWA 7 p.m.

2 Saturday October 10 TAMPA BAY 1 p.m.

3 Monday October 12 COLUMBUS 3 p.m.

4 Thursday October 15 at Florida 7:30 p.m.

5 Saturday October 17 at Tampa Bay 7 p.m.

6 Wednesday October 21 TORONTO 7 p.m.

7 Friday October 23 MONTREAL 7 p.m.

8 Saturday October 24 NEW JERSEY 7 p.m.

9 Tuesday October 27 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.

10 Thursday October 29 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.

11 Friday October 30 PHILADELPHIA 7 p.m.

12 Sunday November 1 at NY Islanders 7:30 p.m.

13 Thursday November 5 TAMPA BAY 7 p.m.

14 Saturday November 7 VANCOUVER 1 p.m.

15 Tuesday November 10 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.

16 Thursday November 12 at Florida 7:30 p.m.

17 Saturday November 14 SAN JOSE 7 p.m.

18 Tuesday November 17 DALLAS 7 p.m.

19 Thursday November 19 at St. Louis 8 p.m.

20 Saturday November 21 at Dallas 8 p.m.

21 Monday November 23 ST. LOUIS 7 p.m.

22 Wednesday November 25 NASHVILLE 7 p.m.

23 Friday November 27 CAROLINA 7 p.m.

24 Saturday November 28 at Nashville 8 p.m.

25 Tuesday December 1 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.

26 Friday December 4 ARIZONA 7 p.m.

27 Sunday December 6 at Edmonton 8 p.m.

28 Monday December 7 at Vancouver 10 p.m.

29 Thursday December 10 at Calgary 9 p.m.

30 Saturday December 12 LOS ANGELES 7 p.m.

31 Monday December 14 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.

32 Tuesday December 15 NEW JERSEY 7 p.m.

33 Thursday December 17 ANAHEIM 7 p.m.

34 Saturday December 19 CHICAGO 1 p.m.

35 Saturday December 26 at Boston 7 p.m.

36 Monday December 28 WASHINGTON 7 p.m.

37 Wednesday December 30 at Washington 7 p.m.

38 Thursday December 31 NY ISLANDERS 6 p.m.

39 Saturday January 2 DETROIT 1 p.m.

40 Tuesday January 5 FLORIDA 7 p.m.

41 Friday January 8 at Chicago 8:30 p.m.

42 Sunday January 10 at Winnipeg 3 p.m.

43 Tuesday January 12 at Minnesota 8 p.m.

44 Friday January 15 BOSTON 7 p.m.

45 Saturday January 16 WASHINGTON 7 p.m.

46 Monday January 18 at Arizona 10 p.m.

47 Wednesday January 20 at Colorado 10 p.m.

48 Friday January 22 DETROIT 7 p.m.

49 Monday January 25 at NY Rangers 7 p.m.

50 Tuesday January 26 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.

51 Wednesday February 3 at Montreal 7 p.m.

52 Thursday February 4 BOSTON 7 p.m.

53 Saturday February 6 at Boston 7 p.m.

54 Tuesday February 9 FLORIDA 7 p.m.

55 Thursday February 11 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.

56 Friday February 12 MONTREAL 7 p.m.

57 Sunday February 14 COLORADO 12:30 p.m.

58 Tuesday February 16 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.

59 Friday February 19 at Columbus 7 p.m.

60 Sunday February 21 PITTSBURGH 12:30 p.m.

61 Wednesday February 24 at Anaheim 10:30 p.m.

62 Friday February 26 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.

63 Saturday February 27 at Los Angeles 11 p.m.

64 Tuesday March 1 EDMONTON 7 p.m.

65 Thursday March 3 CALGARY 7 p.m.

66 Saturday March 5 MINNESOTA 1 p.m.

67 Monday March 7 at Toronto 7:30 p.m.

68 Tuesday March 8 NY RANGERS 7 p.m.

69 Thursday March 10 at Montreal 7:30 p.m.

70 Saturday March 12 CAROLINA 1 p.m.

71 Wednesday March 16 MONTREAL 7 p.m.

72 Friday March 18 OTTAWA 7 p.m.

73 Saturday March 19 at Toronto 7 p.m.

74 Tuesday March 22 at Carolina 7 p.m.

75 Saturday March 26 WINNIPEG 1 p.m.

76 Monday March 28 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.

77 Tuesday March 29 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.

78 Thursday March 31 TORONTO 7 p.m.

79 Saturday April 2 at NY Rangers 7 p.m.

80 Tuesday April 5 at New Jersey 7 p.m.

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