Top NHL Games of the 2023-24 Season

The NHL is preparing to hit the ice for its 2023–24 season. Following the 2023 Stanley Cup Final between two teams who had never won the cup —the Vegas Golden Knights and the Florida Panthers — the path to the postseason has never felt more within every team’s grasp.

The upcoming 2023–24 season will offer plenty of marquee matchups, from the potential budding rivalry between the Florida Panthers and reigning champions the Vegas Golden Knights to foundational rivalries such as the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens. Check out our list of some of the most-anticipated games throughout the regular season that you won’t want to miss.

Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers

The regional rivalry between Boston and New York that spans all American professional sports has prevailed in the NHL for nearly a century with the Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers, two members of the league’s Original Six teams. Throughout the years, the Bruins have kept a statistical edge with six Stanley Cup wins to the Rangers’ four, but in 2023, both placed in the Top 3 of their respective divisions and ultimately fell in the first round of the playoffs.

Despite their stunning 4-3 loss to the Florida Panthers in the opening round of the playoffs, the Boston Bruins are skating back from a historical performance in 2022–23. The Bruins broke the regular season record for most wins at 65, as well as the nearly 50-year record for most regular season points at 133, which also made them the de-facto recipients of the Presidents’ Trophy for most points scored in the regular season. The team earned additional accolades, including the Jack Adams Award (best coach) for Jim Montgomery, the Vezina Trophy (best goaltender) for Linus Ullmark and the Frank J. Selke Trophy (best defensive forward) for Patrice Bergeron.

Meanwhile, the New York Rangers decided to make some adjustments ahead of the 2023–24 season by hiring new head coach Peter Laviolette and adding veteran talent such as Blake Wheeler, Erik Gustafsson and Jonathan Quick. Despite their significant offseason moves, the Rangers have also maintained their core of team captain Jacob Trouba and 2022–23 All-Stars Adam Fox and Artemi Panarin.

Buy tickets to Boston Bruins vs. New York Rangers: November 25 @ New York Rangers | December 16 @ Boston Bruins | March 21 @ Boston Bruins

Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens

Perhaps the sport’s most storied rivalry, these two Original Six teams have faced off in more regular season games, playoff matchups and series-deciding Game Seven’s than any other pairing. Although the Montreal Canadiens hold the edge in all-time regular season wins at 363-280, the Boston Bruins are currently enjoying a 10-game win streak, including a solid 3-0 sweep during the 2022–23 regular season.

The previous season provided the Bruins and the Canadiens with opposite fortunes within the Atlantic Division, as the Bruins earned the top seed and a league-best regular season record of 65-12-5, while the Canadiens landed at the bottom of the division with a 31-45-6 record.

Looking ahead to the 2023–24 season, the Canadiens will attempt to turn things around with second-year coach Martin St. Louis and a solidified core of Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield and Kirby Dach, while continuing to acclimate their 2022 No. 1 draft pick Juraj Slafkovský and 2023 acquisition Alex Newhook. On the other end, the Bruins will trot out their largely intact 2022 Presidents’ Trophy-winning squad once more for four matchups between November and March.

Buy tickets to Boston Bruins vs. Montreal Canadiens: November 11 @ Montreal Canadiens | November 18 @ Boston Bruins | January 20 @ Boston Bruins | March 14 @ Montreal Canadiens

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

One of the NHL’s most cherished modern rivalries was glaringly absent from the 2023 postseason as both the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins did not make the playoffs. For the Caps, it marked their first time not qualifying for the postseason since 2014, while the Penguins snapped a staggering 16-year playoff appearance streak.

Although some distance has grown since the successive Stanley Cup victories by the Metropolitan Division rivals (the Penguins in 2016 and 2017, the Capitals in 2018), many of the same players from those years remain. The Penguins’ veteran core of two-time Hart Trophy winner Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang and the Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin — whose 822 all-time career goals only trails Wayne Gretzky — Nicklas Bäckström, John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov have faced off against each other on every eventual championship run.

With both teams pursuing redemption in the 2023–24 season, they’ve prepared with offseason moves such as the Penguins’ acquisition of 2023 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson and the Caps’ addition of head coach Spencer Carbery and All-Star wing Max Pacioretty.

Buy tickets to Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: October 13 @ Washington Capitals | January 2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins | March 7 @ Pittsburgh Penguins | April 4 @ Washington Capitals

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers

The NHL will host two rematch games of the 2023 Stanley Cup Finals between the Florida Panthers and reigning champions the Vegas Golden Knights. The highly-anticipated regular season face-offs will occur within two weeks of each other on December 23 and January 4.

Despite a 2022–23 regular season split of one win each, the Golden Knights and Panthers met in the finals under vastly different circumstances. The Las Vegas team earned the Pacific Division’s top seed and entered the playoffs with a 51-22-9 record, while the Florida squad qualified as an Eastern Conference wild card with a record of 42-32-8. The Panthers clawed their way to the finals as an eighth seed by first upsetting the league-leading Boston Bruins’ historic season in a Game 7 overtime win, followed by a resounding series win over the Toronto Maple Leafs and a series sweep over the Carolina Hurricanes. Ultimately, the Golden Knights ended the Cinderella story and claimed their first Stanley Cup title.

The Golden Knights will look to repeat their success in the 2023–24 season, led by team captain Mark Stone, Finals MVP Jonathan Marchessault and re-signed stars Ivan Barbashev and Adin Hill. Meanwhile, the Panthers will assuredly enter the regular season hungry under returning veterans Aleksander Barkov, Matthew Tkachuk and Carter Verhaeghe along with new offseason additions like Evan Rodrigues and Oliver Ekman-Larsson.

Buy tickets to Vegas Golden Knights vs. Florida Panthers: December 23 @ Florida Panthers | January 4 @ Vegas Golden Knights

Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers

The Battle of Alberta remains a time-honored tradition between the Canadian provinces’ two NHL squads, the Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers. The rivalry was born in the ’80s when each team’s perennial postseason dominance was eventually met by the obstacle of the other, and it was recently reignited after a second round playoff matchup in 2022, where the Oilers emerged victorious, 4-1.

Despite an extended period without any postseason action between the two, both have remained formidable regular season opponents with the Flames holding an edge on the all-time record at 129–106–18–6. The Oilers, however, chipped away at that lead during the 2022–23 season as they won two of their three matchups, led by the league’s two leading scorers in Connor McDavid, who was also named regular season MVP, and Leon Draisaitl.

The Calgary Flames and the Edmonton Oilers will meet four times throughout the 2023–24 season, including in the annual outdoor Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on October 29.

Buy tickets to Calgary Flames vs. Edmonton Oilers: October 29 @ Edmonton Oilers | January 20 @ Calgary Flames | February 24 @ Edmonton Oilers | April 6 @ Calgary Flames

Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators

The Battle of Ontario wages on for the 2023–24 season as the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators face off for another four bouts in Canada’s most populous province. Both teams will be testing new lineup additions like the Maple Leafs’ Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi and John Klingberg against the Senators’ Vladimir Tarasenko and Dominik Kubalík.

In the 2022–23 season, the Maple Leafs went 50-21-11, earning the second seed in the Atlantic Division and advancing to the second round of the postseason before falling to the Florida Panthers, 4-1. Against the Senators, the Maple Leafs won three of their four regular season matchups.

Meanwhile, the Ottawa Senators failed to qualify for the playoffs with a regular season record of 39-35-8. Along with their veteran core of captain Brady Tkachuk, Claude Giroux and Thomas Chabot, the Sens will also look to lean on their rising stars like 2022-23 All-Rookie defenceman Jake Sanderson and Tim Stützle.

Buy tickets to Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Ottawa Senators: November 8 @ Toronto Maple Leafs | December 7 @ Ottawa Senators | December 27 @ Toronto Maple Leafs | February 10 @ Ottawa Senators

Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The heated rivalry between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins reaches as far back as both team’s entrance to the NHL in 1967, but the geographic Battle of Pennsylvania truly earned its competitive angle during several postseason matchups between 2008 and 2018. Although the Penguins won three of the four series during that stretch, the two clubs remain relatively balanced, with Philadelphia holding a slight 21-20 advantage for their all-time postseason record.

During the 2022–23 regular season, the Penguins swept all three matches against the Flyers, and concluded the season with a 40-31-11 record. The Flyers, on the other hand, fell to second to last in the Metropolitan Division with a losing record of 31-38-13. Neither team qualified for the playoffs.

Moving forward, the Flyers and the Penguins will look to revitalize themselves in the 2023–24 season with the Flyers making some front office changes and the Pens acquiring All-Star defender Erik Karlsson. Notably, the two Pennsylvania clubs will face off in back-to-back games, hosting one apiece, in December.

Buy tickets to Philadelphia Flyers vs. Pittsburgh Penguins: December 2 @ Pittsburgh Penguins | December 4 @ Philadelphia Flyers | January 8 @ Philadelphia Flyers | February 25 @ Pittsburgh Penguins
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Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks

As California’s two oldest hockey clubs, the Los Angeles Kings and the San Jose Sharks have a long, contentious history that has only grown deeper within the last decade. Between 2011 and 2016, the two teams faced each other four times in the postseason and appeared evenly matched with two series wins apiece, though the Kings have been the only ones to turn their victory into a championship run (2014).

The Kings were also the only California team (including the Anaheim Ducks) to qualify for the postseason during the 2022–23 season. With a record of 47-25-10, the Kings ranked third in the Pacific Division but ultimately lost in the first round of the playoffs for a second consecutive year. Looking ahead, they’ll attempt to bounce back with some newly acquired firepower from center Pierre Luc-Dubois.

After going 22-44-16 in the previous year, the Sharks are approaching the 2023–24 season with a new identity after trading away their All-Star defender Erik Karlsson during the offseason. The team, led by captain Logan Couture and veterans Mario Ferraro and Tomáš Hertl, will also determine to make their first postseason appearance since 2019.

Buy tickets to Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks: December 19 @ San Jose Sharks | December 27 @ Los Angeles Kings | January 22 @ Los Angeles Kings | April 4 @ San Jose Sharks

Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers

The league will host three regular season games between the reigning NHL champion Vegas Golden Knights and the Edmonton Oilers. The fiercely battled Second Round playoff series last postseason delivered on every expectation as the Pacific Division’s top two seeds duked it out over six games.

The Golden Knights will attempt to defend their title after leading the Western Conference with a 51-22-9 record and 111 points in the 2022–23 season. The Oilers proved to be a reliable foil though, trailing just behind with a record of 50-23-9 and 109 points while also winning three of their four regular season matchups.

For the 2023–24 season, the Vegas Golden Knights will face greater opposition from the Edmonton Oilers, as Edmonton’s previous season MVP and league-wide top scorer Connor McDavid will now be joined by the team’s latest high-profile acquisition, Connor Brown.

Buy tickets to Vegas Golden Knights vs. Edmonton Oilers: November 28 @ Edmonton Oilers | February 6 @ Vegas Golden Knights | April 10 @ Edmonton Oilers

New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils

The Battle of the Hudson rivalry between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils has only intensified following the 2023 postseason, when the two teams met in the first round as the Metropolitan Division’s third and second seeds, respectively. In a tight seven-game series, the Devils advanced after two shutout performances by goaltender Akira Schmid.

The Devils held the advantage going into the series with a regular season record of 52-22-8 and 112 points, the third highest in the Eastern Conference. Meanwhile, the Rangers trailed closely behind with a 47-22-13 record, but also notched three losses to the Devils in their four regular season matchups.

Looking ahead at the 2023–24 season, the two teams will hit the ice with several additions, including the Rangers’ new head coach Peter Laviolette and seasoned players like Blake Wheeler, Erik Gustafsson and Jonathan Quick. The Devils, on the other hand, acquired veteran wing Tyler Toffoli to join their starting line featuring Nico Hischier and Jack Hughes.

Buy tickets to New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils: November 18 @ New Jersey Devils | February 22 @ New Jersey Devils | March 11 @ New York Rangers | April 3 @ New York Rangers

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