Florida Panthers

Panthers open 2016-17 season at home

Florida Panthers right wing Scottie Upshall struggles for the puck around New Jersey Devils’ David Clarkson (23) and Alexei Ponikarovsky (12) in the second period of Game 7 of their first round playoff series at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise on April 26, 2012.
Florida Panthers right wing Scottie Upshall struggles for the puck around New Jersey Devils’ David Clarkson (23) and Alexei Ponikarovsky (12) in the second period of Game 7 of their first round playoff series at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise on April 26, 2012. Herald Archive, 2012

The Florida Panthers, fresh off their first playoff berth since 2012 and arguably the best regular season in franchise history, will open the 2016-17 season at BB&T Center against the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 13, the NHL announced Monday.

The full schedule will be released Tuesday.

This marks the second year in a row the Panthers open their season at home. They defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 7-1 in the 2015-16 season opener. All time, the Panthers are 7-0-2 when they host season openers.

The 2016-17 regular season starts slightly later than usual because of the return of the World Cup of Hockey, which takes place Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto. The schedule will be more compressed because of the World Cup and the bye week each team will have.

The Panthers ended last season with a franchise-best 47 wins en route to their second division title in franchise history. They lost 4-2 in a seven-game series against the New York Islanders in the first round of the playoffs.

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