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NHL announces 2015-16 season schedule

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL

NEW YORK - The NHL's 2015-16 regular season will commence on Wednesday, Oct. 7, with a four-game slate, highlighted by the Chicago Blackhawks raising their third championship banner in the past six seasons. The 1,230-game regular-season schedule - 82 games per team - will conclude on Saturday, April 9, with all 30 teams in action.

After clinching the Stanley Cup on home ice for the first time since 1938, the Blackhawks will raise their sixth championship banner on opening night before playing the New York Rangers. The other three games on the opening night of the 2015-16 season: the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs re-new their "Original Six" rivalry at Air Canada Centre; the Vancouver Canucks visit the Calgary Flames in a re-match of a 2015 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round series; and the Los Angeles Kings play host to the San Jose Sharks at STAPLES Center.

Shortly after opening the season, the Blackhawks will help usher in a new era for the New York Islanders when on Friday, Oct. 9, the game between the two franchises becomes the first-ever regular-season NHL game played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The 2015-16 season marks the first season the Islanders will play their home games at Barclays Center.

On New Year's Day, the Boston Bruins will play host to the Montreal Canadiens in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. When these long-time rivals meet, Boston will become the first club to host the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic for a second time, after defeating the Philadelphia Flyers, 2-1, in overtime at the 2010 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park. It will mark the first time the Canadiens will play in the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, and just the second time a Canadian-based NHL team will play in the event, following Toronto's appearance in 2014. More details on the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will be released in the coming weeks.

The League's regular-season schedule will pause from Jan. 28 - Feb. 1, so the world's top players can gather in Nashville for the 2016 NHL All-Star Weekend. It is the first time the NHL All-Star activities will take place in Nashville and at Bridgestone Arena.

The 2016 Coors Light Stadium Series will feature two games. On Sunday, Feb. 21, in a first for the club, the Minnesota Wild will play host to the Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus. The following weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 27, the Colorado Avalanche will make their debut in a regular-season outdoor NHL game when they play host to the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field in Denver.

Then, what is sure to be another furious stretch run will ensue until the final day of the regular season, when all 30 teams will take to the ice on Saturday, April 9.

Reminder: Scheduling Matrix

The scheduling matrix, ensures that all 30 teams play in all 30 arenas at least once a season:

Eastern Conference (8-Team Divisions)

Within Conference (Division): 30 games

* 5 games vs. two teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. one team, 2 Home/3 Away vs. one team) AND

4 games vs. five teams (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

* 5 x 2 =10 games

* 4 x 5 = 20 games

Within Conference (Non-Division): 24 games

* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. four teams).

Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

* 3 x 8 = 24 games

Non-Conference: 28 games

* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)

* 2 x 14 = 28 games

Western Conference (7-Team Divisions)

Within Conference (Division): 29 games

* 5 games vs. five teams (3 Home/2 Away vs. two teams, 2 Home/3 Away vs. three teams) AND

4 games vs. one team (2 Home/2 Away). Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

* 5 x 5 =25 games

* 1 x 4 = 4 games

Within Conference (Non-Division): 21 games

* 3 games vs. each team (2 Home/1 Away vs. four teams, 1 Home/2 Away vs. three teams).

Teams rotated on a yearly basis.

* 3 x 7 = 21 games

Non-Conference: 32 games

* 2 games vs. each team (1 Home/1 Away)

* 2 x 16 = 32 games

Exception: One team from each division plays one less game inside division and one more game inside conference outside division.

Schedule Notes

Regular Season Opens: Wednesday, Oct. 7

Christmas Break: Wednesday, Dec. 23 - Friday, Dec. 25

All-Star Break: Thursday, Jan. 28 - Monday, Feb. 1

Last Day of Regular Season: Saturday, April 9

Click on team logo for complete 82-game schedule

For full schedule by date, click here

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