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Wings schedule is jam-packed

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
    Henrik Zetterberg is excited to return to Joe Louis Arena

    and get the shortened NHL season underway.
    (Photo by Bill Roose/Detroit Red Wings) 

DETROIT – The NHL finally released the schedule, including that of the Red Wings, for the upcoming abbreviated 2013 season, which will consist of 48-games in 99 days.


The Red Wings open up the season next Saturday in St. Louis before traveling to Columbus for a Martin Luther King Day game on Jan. 21 against the Blue Jackets in Ohio’s capital city.

“Of course it's a lot of hockey in a short amount of days but in the same way we're real excited to be back playing," Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "I think most of the games we'd rather play games than practice. So we're looking forward to this and it will be a special season. In the end when you lift the Cup I don't think it really matters.''

Detroit will open the home portion of its schedule against the Dallas Stars on Jan. 22.

Because of the compressed schedule, the Red Wings will play 24 back-to-back games, including five sets that are home-and-away.

In the schedule matrix, the Eastern and Western Conference team will only play conference opponents with a greater emphasis on divisional rivalries. So the Red Wings are slated to play Central Division foes St. Louis and Columbus five times each, and Chicago and Nashville four times each. The remaining 10 teams in the West will face-off against the Red Wings three times each.

Besides the MLK Day in Columbus, the Red Wings will play on three other dates of interest: Groundhogs Day (Feb. 2 at Columbus); Easter Sunday (Mar. 31 vs. Chicago); April Fools Day (Apr. 1 vs. Colorado); and Earth Day (Apr. 22 vs. Phoenix).

One quirky note about the schedule, the Wings will play back-to-back game in Anaheim on Friday, March 22 and Sunday, March 24. Wings’ fans will have a chance to get a look at the reigning Stanley Cup champions when the Los Angeles Kings visit Joe Louis Arena for a special matinee game, which will be broadcast live by NBC on Sunday, Feb. 10. It is the first of four Wings’ games that will be carried by the national network. The others are March 3 and March 31 (vs. Chicago); and April 7 (vs. St. Louis).

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter @ | @Bill_Roose

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