Florida Panthers fans: Make sure October 11, 2018 is circled on your calendar. That will be your first chance to see the Panthers on their home ice for their 25th anniversary season.
The Panthers' first opponent at the BB&T Center for the 2018-19 season: the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Panthers lost all three games against Columbus last season: A 7-3 decision at home on Nov. 2, a 3-2 shootout loss on Jan. 7 and a 4-0 loss on March 22.
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The Panthers have won their home opener in each of the last three seasons, defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 5-4 in 2017, the New Jersey Devils 2-1 (overtime) in 2016 and the Philadelphia Flyers 7-1 in 2015. They also had exceptional success at home last year, going 27-11-3 at the BB&T Center. The Panthers won 14 of their final 16 games on home ice.
For the second straight year, the Panthers will open the season against the Tampa Bay Lightning. That game is set for Oct. 6. The Panthers lost the opener in Tampa Bay last season 5-3.
The NHL will release the full 2018-19 schedule at 5 p.m. Thursday.
The Panthers finished last season with 96 points, one short of making the Stanley Cup Playoffs.