Flyers' 2018-19 schedule includes brutal December

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Left winger Claude Giroux, who finished fourth in the MVP voting this season, will again be the focal point for the Flyers in 2018-19. Their schedule was released Thursday.

The Flyers released their 2018-19 schedule Thursday, and it includes a brutal December in which 10 of their 14 games will be on the road.

From Dec. 1 to Jan. 1, the Flyers will have two five-game road trips. After playing in Nashville on New Year’s Day, however, they will not have any trips longer than two games the rest of the season.

The Flyers will have a pair of five-game homestands – one in November (Arizona, Chicago, Florida, New Jersey, and Tampa Bay) and the other in February (Edmonton, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Pittsburgh).

Led by left winger Claude Giroux, who finished fourth in the MVP voting and was named a second-team NHL all-star, the Flyers will start the season in Las Vegas on Oct. 4, then play in Colorado on Oct. 6.  They open the home portion of their schedule Oct. 9 against San Jose.

Oddly, the Flyers don’t have a home game against Stanley Cup champion Washington until March 6. They also host the Capitals on March 14, and they have games in Washington on Jan. 8 and March 24.

The Flyers will play 13 sets of back-to-back games, slightly fewer than in recent years. All but one of those sets will be part of three games in a four-night span.

The Flyers, who haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1975, will meet all of their Metropolitan Division opponents four times, and they will play two road games and one home game against Boston, Buffalo, Montreal, and Toronto of the Atlantic Division. They will play two home games and one road game against Detroit, Florida, Ottawa, and Tampa Bay.

The breakdown of home and road games against each Atlantic Division team alternates each season.

The Flyers will play a home-and-home series with every Western Conference team.

Among the schedule’s highlights is the Feb. 23 game against bitter rival Pittsburgh at Lincoln Financial Field at 8 p.m. The Flyers also host Sidney Crosby and the Penguins on Feb. 11, and they play in Pittsburgh on Dec. 1 and March 17.

The Penguins eliminated the Flyers in the first round of this year’s playoffs, winning in six games.