Avalanche releases schedule for 2007-2008 season

DENVER (AP) - The Avalanche opens its season by hosting the Dallas Stars on Wednesday, October 3.

Colorado's home schedule features 20 weekend contests among its 41 dates at Pepsi Center.

NHL MVP Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins come to Colorado on Thursday, November 1st headlining an Eastern Conference schedule of opponents which includes the Philadelphia Flyers (December 7); New York Rangers (December 21); New York Islanders (January 5) and New Jersey Devils (March 15).

Included in the 20 weekend contests are four afternoon games.

This season's weekend slate at Pepsi Center is the highest number scheduled since the club arrived in Colorado in 1995.

In addition to the four home and four road games against Northwest Division rivals Calgary, Edmonton, Minnesota and Vancouver, Colorado will face-off four times against the other Western Conference opponents playing each one twice both at home and on the road.

Colorado's two longest home-stands include five-game stretches from October 28 to November 7 and January 18 to 30.

The Avalanche also has a pair of five-game road trips, the longest of the season from January 8 to 15 and February 20 to 27.

The team is scheduled to play seven back-to-back sets.

The first of six preseason games takes place on September 17 when the Avalanche travels to Phoenix, before returning for the preseason home opener on September 19 against the Los Angeles Kings.

The following night, the Avalanche travels to Dallas (September 20) before heading to Las Vegas to play the Kings (September 22).

Colorado concludes the preseason with home games against Dallas (September 25) and Phoenix (September 29).

All preseason games in Denver will be played at Pepsi Center and begin at 7 p.m.

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved)