ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Wild released its 2012-13 NHL regular-season schedule Friday.
Minnesota will begin the season at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at home against the Colorado Avalanche.
The Wild will play each member of the Northwest Division (Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton and Vancouver) six times (three times at home, three times on road) for a total of 24 games. In addition, the club will play the remaining members of the Western Conference’s Pacific Division (Anaheim, Dallas, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Jose) and Central Division (Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis) four times each (twice at home and twice on the road) for a total of 40 games.
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Minnesota will play 18 games against the Eastern Conference this season, playing eight games against the Atlantic Division, five against the Northeast Division and five versus the Southeast Division. Minnesota will play a home-and-home series against Pittsburgh (home game Jan. 19), Philadelphia (home game Jan. 29) and the New York Islanders (home game Dec. 15). The Wild will also visit Boston, Carolina, defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey, the New York Rangers, Tampa Bay and Winnipeg, while hosting Buffalo (Dec. 28), Florida (Oct. 27), Montreal (Oct. 23), Ottawa (March 3), Toronto (Nov. 23) and Washington (Oct. 29).
Popular out-of-town visits at Xcel Energy Center include: the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings (Nov. 1, Jan. 22), the Calgary Flames (Jan. 3, Feb. 26, March 26), the Chicago Blackhawks (Nov. 28, Dec. 18), the Dallas Stars (Dec. 26, April 11), the Detroit Red Wings (Nov. 17, Feb. 17), the Edmonton Oilers (Dec. 14, Dec. 31, March 5), the St. Louis Blues (Nov. 15, March 30), the San Jose Sharks (Jan. 17, March 23), and the Vancouver Canucks (Dec. 20, Feb. 7, March 10).
Minnesota will have a franchise record-tying, seven-game homestand – Dec. 14–28 against Edmonton, N.Y. Islanders, Chicago, Vancouver, Colorado, Dallas and Buffalo. The Wild will play nine home games in March – matching the most in franchise history. The club has a pair of six-game road trips, including an early November jaunt to Tampa Bay, Boston, the New York Rangers, Detroit, New Jersey and Philadelphia. The Wild will play 18 of its first 28 games on the road. Minnesota has 14 back-to-backs in 2012-13, up from 11 last season.