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updated: 6/21/2012 12:50 PM

Blackhawks to open season at home against Columbus

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  • The Chicago Blackhawks and captain Jonathan Toews will open the 2012-13 season against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center on Oct. 13.

      The Chicago Blackhawks and captain Jonathan Toews will open the 2012-13 season against the Columbus Blue Jackets at the United Center on Oct. 13.
    Steve Lundy | Staff Photographer/file

 
By Caitlin Swieca
cswieca@dailyherald.com

The National Hockey League released its schedule for the 2012-13 season on Thursday, and for the first time in seven years, the Blackhawks will open the season on home ice.

The Blackhawks will host the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday, Oct. 13, to begin the year. Seven of the team's first 11 games will be played at the United Center.

The longest homestand of the year will span seven games, from Feb. 15 through March 11. The Blackhawks will have three road trips spanning six games, which will take place on Nov. 14 to 23, Jan. 29 to Feb. 9 and March 14 to 24.

The defending champions, the Los Angeles Kings, will come to Chicago on March 26. The Blackhawks will host the rival Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 24 and March 12, and the season will wrap up with a home-and-home series against division foe St. Louis on April 12 and 13.

The NHL season will begin with four games on Oct. 11, with the Los Angeles Kings opening their season with a banner-raising cermony the next night.

This year's Winter Classic will be held on New Year's Day at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Detroit Red Wings will face the Toronto Maple Leafs in front of a potentially record-breaking crowd.

The league will pause for a weekend for all-star festivities, which will take place in Columbus from Jan. 24 to 28.

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