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Blue Jackets schedule

After the most celebrated season in franchise history, the Columbus Blue Jackets will open the 2009-10 season at home against the Minnesota Wild on October 3, the club officially announced on Wednesday.

The ’09-‘10 season is one that will start a week earlier due to the sixteen-day Olympic break in February, and sees the Jackets play more Saturday night games than ever before.

Following the home opener at Nationwide Arena, the Jackets will play three straight road games at Vancouver, San Jose, and Phoenix. The team will head out west again on October 20 for an extended road trip that includes stops in Calgary, Edmonton, Anaheim, and LA.

The Jackets will face the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins at home on October 30, then head to Washington to face Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals in the nation’s capital on November 1.

Wednesday November 11 marks the first game against the Detroit Red Wings, at home in the friendly confines of Nationwide Arena.

Later that month, the Jackets will be all over the map with their longest road trip of the season beginning November 19 in Dallas and ending the 26th in Ottawa to face the Senators. Along the way, the team will make stops in Nashville, New York to face the Rangers, and Montreal.

In December, the CBJ will play back-to-back games against the defending Western Conference Champion Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on the 26th and then back here at Nationwide on the 28th. The Jackets will conclude 2009 with a New Years Eve game in Columbus against Nashville.

The month of January may be one of the toughest months of the season for the CBJ with nine road games and only six at home. The month includes a home and home with division rival Chicago on the 14th and 16th, and sends the Jackets to Boston for a game against the Bruins on the 21st.

February, which is shortened because of the Olympic break, has only six games on the schedule including five straight at home before the sixteen-day break beginning the 15th.

Columbus will play eight at home and six on the road during the playoff push in March then will end the season with three games against Detroit in April culminating in the final game of the year at home verse the Red Wings on the 9th.

Eastern Conference foes on the schedule include the defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins, a home and home with the Washington Capitals, as well as games against the Boston Bruins, Toronto Maple Leafs, New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Ottawa Senators.

The Jackets have a schedule that sees them playing away from home a lot early in the season, but allows them to play more home games down the stretch. With the way the schedule is set up, early season road trips could be pivotal to in determining where the Jackets are positioned come the post-season.

For the complete schedule, visit www.bluejackets.com.

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