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NHL unveils 2021 schedule with Canadiens-Leafs, Oilers-Canucks on opening night

Last Updated Dec 23, 2020 at 1:08 pm PST

FILE - Vancouver Canucks' Bo Horvat (53), Tanner Pearson (70) and Zack MacEwen (71) celebrate a goal against the Minnesota Wild during first period NHL qualifying round game action in Edmonton, on Friday August 7, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)
Summary

The NHL has unveiled each team's full 56-game schedule for the 2020-21 season

The Montreal Canadiens taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks playing Edmonton Oilers opening night

The NHL has unveiled each team’s full 56-game schedule for the 2020-21 season, featuring a pair of all-Canadian games with the Montreal Canadiens taking on the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Vancouver Canucks playing Edmonton Oilers on opening night.

The three other games on the first night of the 2020-21 season include the Chicago Blackhawks taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning who will be raising their Stanley Cup championship banner along with the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Philadelphia Flyers and the St. Louis Blues taking on the Colorado Avalanche. The 56-game regular-season schedule will conclude on Saturday, May 8 with the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs starting May 11.

Each team in the East, Central and West divisions will play every other team in its division eight times while each team in the North Division will play every other team in its division nine or 10 times. The top four teams in each division will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, with intradivisional play in the first two rounds.

RELATED: NHL, NHLPA officially announce agreement for 2020-21 season

The four teams that advance to the semifinal round would be seeded by their regular-season points total, with the No. 1 seed playing the No. 4 seed in one series and the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds meeting in the other. Formal training camps will begin on Jan. 3. There will be no pre-season games. The seven teams that did not qualify for the playoffs will open their training camps as early as Dec. 31.

Sportsnet 650’s James Cybulski┬ásays there could be some heated rivalries with the Canucks playing in an all-Canadian division.

“The Leafs are in a contention mode, the Habs have pushed their chips in this year, the Flames are going after it, the Oilers are going after it,” he said. “The Canucks were a win away from reaching the conference final, the Jets still have a win to open in their mind. The Senators are really the only weak team, but in a short season, you never know. Teams might get hot at the right time. I think it will ignite things.

Below are the schedules for all 31 NHL teams for the 2021 season.

NORTH DIVISION
Toronto Maple Leafs

Montreal Canadiens

Ottawa Senators

Winnipeg Jets

Edmonton Oilers

Calgary Flames

Vancouver Canucks

EAST DIVISION
Boston Bruins

Buffalo Sabres

New Jersey Devils

New York Islanders

New York Rangers

Philadelphia Flyers

Pittsburgh Penguins

Washington Capitals

CENTRAL DIVISION
Carolina Hurricanes

Chicago Blackhawks

Columbus Blue Jackets

Dallas Stars

Detroit Red Wings

Florida Panthers

Nashville Predators

Tampa Bay Lightning

WEST DIVISION
Anaheim Ducks

Arizona Coyotes

Colorado Avalanche

Los Angeles Kings

Minnesota Wild

San Jose Sharks

St. Louis Blues

Vegas Golden Knights