(Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

The Capitals kick off the 2013-14 regular season on the road against the defending Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 1 before returning to Verizon Center to host the Calgary Flames on Oct. 3 for the home opener.

This season is the first under the NHL’s new realignment plan and in addition to releasing the full regular season schedule, the league also named the new divisions. The league kept with its theme of geographically-based names, opting for the Pacific and Central Divisions in the Western Conference and the Metropolitan and Atlantic Divisions in the Eastern Conference. (For anyone who needs a reminder about the new division alignments, head here.)

The Capitals reside in the eight-team Metropolitan Division along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Within the division, Washington will play the Flyers and Hurricanes five times each – with three games on the road against the former and three games at home against the latter — this year. The Capitals will play the other five division members four times each. Rival Pittsburgh comes to town on Nov. 20 and March 10 and the New York Rangers, last year’s playoff foe, makes trips on Oct. 16 and Dec. 27.

Thanks to realignment and a new scheduling matrix, every NHL teams will play each other at home and on the road for the first time since the 2003-04 season. That means some familiar faces will visit Verizon Center. The Anaheim Ducks and former coach Bruce Boudreau visit Washington on Dec. 23, while recently-departed free agents Mike Ribeiro (Phoenix) and Matt Hendricks (Nashville) will return on March 8 and Dec. 7, respectively. For this season’s Super Bowl Sunday showcase, the Capitals will host the Detroit Red Wings on Feb. 2 at 12:30 p.m.

The Capitals will play 17 sets of back-to-back games during the 2013-14 season and have two five-game road trips from Oct. 22-Nov. 1 and Jan. 24-31.

Heading into the NHL’s 17-game break for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, which runs Feb. 9-26, Washington will play eight of 13 games on the road including two sets of back-to-back contests. The Capitals will be back on the road once the NHL schedule resumes following the Olympics as well, playing four of their first five games after the break away from Verizon Center.

Here’s the Capitals’ schedule:

Tue, Oct. 1 at Chicago 8 p.m.
Thu, Oct. 3 Calgary 7 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 5 at Dallas 8 p.m.
Thu, Oct. 10 Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 12 Colorado 7 p.m.
Mon, Oct. 14 Edmonton 7 p.m.
Wed, Oct. 16 N.Y. Rangers 7:30 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 19 Columbus 7 p.m.
Tue, Oct. 22 at Winnipeg 8 p.m.
Thu, Oct. 24 at Edmonton 9:30 p.m.
Sat, Oct. 26 at Calgary 10 p.m.
Mon, Oct. 28 at Vancouver 10 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 1 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sat, Nov. 2 Florida 7 p.m.
Tue, Nov. 5 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Thu, Nov. 7 Minnesota 7 p.m.
Sat, Nov. 9 at Phoenix 8 p.m.
Sun, Nov. 10 at Colorado 8 p.m.
Tue, Nov. 12 Columbus 7 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 15 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Nov. 17 St. Louis 6 p.m.
Wed, Nov. 20 Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 22 Montreal 7 p.m.
Sat, Nov. 23 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Wed, Nov. 27 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 29 Montreal 5 p.m.
Sat, Nov. 30 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Tue, Dec. 3 Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat, Dec. 7 Nashville 7 p.m.
Sun, Dec. 8 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Tue, Dec. 10 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Fri, Dec. 13 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Dec. 15 Philadelphia 3 p.m.
Tue, Dec. 17 at Philadelphia 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Dec. 20 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat, Dec. 21 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Mon, Dec. 23 Anaheim 7 p.m.
Fri, Dec. 27 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Sun, Dec. 29 at Buffalo 5 p.m.
Mon, Dec. 30 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Thu, Jan. 2 Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat, Jan. 4 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Thu, Jan. 9 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 10 Toronto 7 p.m.
Sun, Jan. 12 Buffalo 3 p.m.
Tue, Jan. 14 San Jose 7 p.m.
Wed, Jan. 15 at Pittsburgh 8 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 17 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Sun, Jan. 19 at N.Y. Rangers 7:30 p.m.
Tue, Jan. 21 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 24 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat, Jan. 25 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Tue, Jan. 28 at Buffalo 7:30 p.m.
Thu, Jan. 30 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Fri, Jan. 31 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.
Sun, Feb. 2 Detroit 12:30 p.m.
Tue, Feb. 4 N.Y. Islanders 7:30 p.m.
Thu, Feb. 6 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Sat, Feb. 8 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Thu, Feb. 27 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Sat, March 1 at Boston 1 p.m.
Sun, March 2 Philadelphia 12:30 p.m.
Wed, March 5 at Philadelphia 8 p.m.
Thu, March 6 at Boston 7 p.m.
Sat, March 8 Phoenix 7 p.m.
Mon, March 10 Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Tue, March 11 at Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.
Fri, March 14 Vancouver 7 p.m.
Sun, March 16 Toronto 3 p.m.
Tue, March 18 at Anaheim 10 p.m.
Thu, March 20 at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.
Sat, March 22 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Tue, March 25 Los Angeles 7 p.m.
Sat, March 29 Boston 12:30 p.m.
Sun, March 30 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Tue, April 1 Dallas 7 p.m.
Fri, April 4 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat, April 5 at N.Y. Islanders 5 p.m.
Tue, April 8 at St. Louis 8 p.m.
Thu, April 10 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Fri, April 11 Chicago 7 p.m.
Sun, April 13 Tampa Bay 3 p.m.