St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock during the second period in game four of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals against the Los Angeles Kings at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL schedule was announced Saturday night and it shows teams will have to endure a quick-march pace in order to start the season next Saturday and play 48 games by April 27.
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CLICK HERE: To see the complete Blues Schedule
Teams will play 48 games in 99 days in the shortest league schedule since 1994-95 when the season was also reduced to 48 games by a lockout. This season's 119-day lockout ended Saturday night when owners and players signed a memorandum of understanding to seal the deal.
Twenty-six of the league's 30 teams will play opening night in this conference-only schedule that will feature each team playing 18 divisional games and 30 games against the other 10 teams in its conference.
Each team will play two divisional opponents five times, and two other divisional foes four times. A team would play each non-divisional conference opponent three times.
It is a compressed schedule with all teams experiencing challenging stretches. The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings, for example, play back-to-back games seven times, and they play 17 games in the 31 days of March.
This abbreviated season will begin in the same location it ended when the Kings raise their 2012 Stanley Cup Championship banner Saturday at Staples Center before taking on the 2010 Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks (3 p.m. ET, NBC)
Playoffs will begin April 30, and the last game of the Stanley Cup Final will be played by the end of June.