Road-heavy start, finish await Predators with 2011-12 season

Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 2:12pm

The Nashville Predators will be on the road more often than not at both the start and finish of the 2011-12 season.

Nashville begins with a pair of road games against Central Division rivals and five of their first seven games will be away from home. Unlike last season, when a glut of home games at the finish contributed to the Predators’ playoff push, only eight of the 18 games from March 1 on will be at Bridgestone Arena.

The home opener is Oct. 13 against Phoenix, and the final home game is April 5 against Dallas.

Along the way, the Predators will play the 1,000th game in franchise history, Nov. 12 at home against Montreal. That also kicks off the longest homestand of the season (five games), which is followed immediately by a five-game road trip.

“The announcement of the 2011-12 schedule is a great sign that another season of exciting Predators hockey is just around the corner” Predators CEO Jeff Cogen said in a release. “This is an excellent schedule and one that our fans will really enjoy as we look to build on our many successes from last season.

The NHL released its complete 2011-12 schedule Thursday afternoon.