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Top 10 key dates for Blackhawks’ 2019-20 regular-season schedule

Joel Quenneville will return to the United Center on Jan. 21.

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Chicago Blackhawks David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Blackhawks released their 2019-20 regular-season schedule Tuesday, giving fans a look at what the road to returning to the playoffs after a two-year absence will look like.

Here are 10 key dates from next season’s schedule:

Oct. 4: Blackhawks at Flyers in Prague — Season opener

The Blackhawks open the season on the road — overseas. Chicago will face off against the Flyers in Prague, Czech Republic, as part of the NHL Global Series. The last time the Blackhawks opened the season overseas was the 2009-10 season, when they split two games against the Panthers in Helsinki, Finland, then went on to win the Stanley Cup. An added bonus for the game in Prague is the Blackhawks don’t have to play in Philadelphia, where they haven’t won a regular-season game in more than two decades.

Oct. 10: Blackhawks vs. Sharks — Home opener

Six days after their season opener, the Blackhawks make their return to the United Center by hosting the Sharks. Chicago is 5-2-1 in home openers this decade, including a 1-2-1 record in their last four. To add some intrigue to this game, it’ll be the first time the Sharks will play at the United Center since last December when Corey Crawford got a concussion.

It also kicks off the longest homestand of the season with seven consecutive games from Oct. 10-24: Sharks (Oct. 10), Jets (Oct. 12), Oilers (Oct. 14), Blue Jackets (Oct. 18), Capitals (Oct. 20), Golden Knights (Oct. 22) and Flyers (Oct. 24).

Dec. 2: Blackhawks vs. Blues — Meet the champs

No one thought this day would come, but here we are. The Bruins lost the Stanley Cup Final in seven games to the Blues for St. Louis to claim the Stanley Cup for the first time in its 52-year history.

Dec. 6: Blackhawks at Devils — No. 1 pick

The Devils, as expected, selected American center Jack Hughes with the top overall pick in the NHL draft last Friday in Vancouver. Hughes won’t be the only new face on the Devils next season as New Jersey acquired defenseman P.K. Subban from Nashville.

Jan. 21: Blackhawks vs. Panthers — Joel Quenneville’s return

Legendary head coach Joel Quenneville will coach his first game behind the opposing bench at the United Center since being fired by the Blackhawks last November.

Jan. 22-31 — Bye week

The Blackhawks’ bye week next season comes at the end of January after hosting Florida and Quenneville. Chicago returns to action Feb. 1 at Arizona.

Feb. 9: Blackhawks at Jets — Long road trip begins

The Blackhawks’ longest road trip as far as amount of games go will be five straight from Feb. 9-16. They’ll visit Winnipeg (Feb. 9), Edmonton (Feb. 11), Vancouver (Feb. 12), Calgary (Feb. 15) and Winnipeg again (Feb. 16).

Feb. 29: Blackhawks at Panthers — Leap Day

The Blackhawks visit Quenneville and the Panthers for a rare Leap Day game.

March 31: Blackhawks vs Canadiens — Regular-season home finale

The Blackhawks wrap up their 2019-20 regular-season home slate against the Canadiens to end a five-game homestand.

April 4: Blackhawks at Rangers — Regular-season finale

The Blackhawks put a bow on their 2019-20 regular-season with two games in New York. Chicago visits the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum on April 2 then two days later heads to Madison Square Garden to face the Rangers.