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Schedule Is Released: Hello Winnipeg!

Winnipeg The NHL released the 2011-12 schedule on Thursday.

Looks like a ton of fun for your Florida Panthers.

The Panthers open the season Oct. 8 against the Islanders with the home opener coming on Oct. 15 against the Lightning. Four of Florida's first five games are on the road.

Other highlights: 

-- Even though Michael Yormark promised angry season ticket holders that the Canadiens would not be the New Year's Eve opponent, they are.

The Rangers are here on Dec. 30 with Montreal in Sunrise the following night to complete a very difficult double-dip. But that should be back-to-back sellouts. And that's nice.

-- The Winnipeg/Manitoba/Atlanta Moose/Thrashers/Vikings make their first visit to Sunrise on Halloween. Florida visits the Frozen Tundra for the first time since the 90s on Nov. 10. The Panthers play at Toronto on Nov. 8.

-- The Blackhawks are here Nov. 3; Florida visits Chicago on Jan. 20 (and then back to Winnipeg on Jan. 21!)

-- The Thanksgiving Series: New Jersey (Monday), Rangers (Wednesday) and Lightning (Friday).

-- How's this for a road trip: Florida visits Tampa on Nov. 26, then goes to Carolina, Los Angeles and San Jose.

-- Nathan Horton and his Stanley Cup champion Bruins visit Sunrise for the first time on Jan. 16.

-- Here's the entire schedule:

SCHEDULE FOR Florida

Oct. 8 at N.Y. Islanders, 8:00 p.m.

Oct. 11 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 15 Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 17 at Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Washington, 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 20 Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 22 N.Y. Islanders, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 24 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 27 at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 29 at Buffalo, 7:00 p.m.

Oct. 31 Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 3 Chicago, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 Tampa Bay, 5:00 p.m.

Nov. 8 at Toronto, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 10 at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 13 Philadelphia, 5:00 p.m.

Nov. 15 at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 17 at St. Louis, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 19 Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 21 New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 23 N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 25 Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.

Nov. 26 at Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m.

Nov. 29 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 1 at Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 3 at San Jose, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 5 Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 8 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 9 at Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 11 at N.Y. Rangers, 7:00 p.m

.Dec. 13 New Jersey, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 16 Calgary, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 18 Carolina, 5:00 p.m.

Dec. 20 Phoenix, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 22 at Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 23 at Boston, 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 27 Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 30 N.Y. Rangers, 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 31 Montreal, 6:00 p.m.

Jan. 5 at N.Y. Rangers, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 6 at New Jersey, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 9 Vancouver, 7:30 p.m.J

an. 13 Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 16 Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 at Colorado, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 20 at Chicago, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 21 at Winnipeg, 7:00 p.m.

Jan. 24 Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 Washington, 8:00 p.m.

Feb. 3 Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 at Tampa Bay, 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 7 at Washington, 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 9 Los Angeles, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 11 at New Jersey, 1:00 p.m.

Feb. 12 at N.Y. Islanders, 3:00 p.m.

Feb. 15 Ottawa, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 17 Washington, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 19 Anaheim, 6:00 p.m.

Feb. 23 Minnesota, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 25 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

Feb. 26 Montreal, 5:00 p.m.

Feb. 28 at Toronto, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 1 at Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 3 Nashville, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 4 Ottawa, 6:00 p.m.

Mar. 8 at Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m

.Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 11 Carolina, 5:00 p.m.

Mar. 13 Toronto, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 15 Boston, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 17 Buffalo, 7:30 p.m

Mar. 20 at Philadelphia, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 21 at Carolina, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 23 Edmonton, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 25 N.Y. Islanders, 5:00 p.m.

Mar. 27 at Montreal, 7:30 p.m.

Mar. 29 at Minnesota, 7:00 p.m.

Mar. 30 at Columbus, 7:00 p.m.

Apr. 1 at Detroit, 4:00 p.m.

Apr. 3 Winnipeg, 7:30 p.m.

Apr. 5 at Washington, 7:00 p.m.

Apr. 7 Carolina, 7:30 p.m.

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