Blackhawks’ 2017-18 season opener will be against the Penguins

Chicago will welcome the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champions Oct. 5 at United Center

The Chicago Blackhawks will host the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins on Oct. 5 for their 2017-18 season opener, the team announced Wednesday. The full schedule will be released at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Chicago went 2-0 against Pittsburgh last season with a 4-1 home win March 1 and a 5-1 victory March 31 in Pittsburgh.

The Hawks are 5-2 in home openers this decade. Chicago has dropped the last two home openers, with a 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers in 2015 and a 5-2 defeat against St. Louis in 2016.

Chicago will also visit Montreal on Oct. 10 for the Canadiens’ home opener.

The complete schedule will be different this season, with the addition of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights, giving the NHL 31 franchises including 15 in the Western Conference.

The seven-team Central Division will play 26 divisional games. The Hawks will have two home and road games against four teams within the division, one series of three home games and two road games and one series of two home games and three road games.

Chicago will play three games each against all eight Pacific Division teams. This will include four series with two home games and one road game, and four with one home game and two road games for 24 total games.

The remaining 32 games on the Hawks’ 82-game schedule will be made up of a home-and-home series against each of the 16 teams in the Eastern Conference.