The Islanders kick off the 2015-16 NHL season with a home-and-home series against the defending Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks and host the Rangers in Brooklyn for the first time on Dec. 2 as the league released the schedule for the upcoming season on Thursday.

The Isles will play 10 of their first 14 games in their new home at Barclays Center. Now that the Islanders are co-tenants in a building that also houses the Nets and will be a subregional site for the NCAA tournament, the home dates are heavier in the opening months of the season -- 16 of the 41 home games on the Isles schedule come before Dec. 5.

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Another new wrinkle are different start times: The Isles have eight 7:30 p.m. home games, including the season opener against the Hawks on Oct. 9. All those games are on Friday, Saturday or Sunday nights. The debut visit from the Rangers is an 8 p.m. start, presumably for national television.

StoryIslanders' 2015-16 NHL schedule

The team embarks on a seven-game road trip in late February and early March, when the circus and the Atlantic 10 tournament come to Barclays Center.