In an unusual twist to the NHL's 2015-16 schedule released Thursday, the Rangers do not have a road trip or a homestand longer than three games. They have five of each. It is the first time since the 82-game schedule was installed in 1995-96 that this is the case.

Among the notable parts of the schedule:

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-- The Rangers have 17 back-to-back series, up from 13 last season. (Columbus has the most with 18.)

-- They will finish the regular season with seven of 10 games at Madison Square Garden.

-- There are six afternoon home games: Oct. 18 vs. New Jersey (1 p.m.); Nov. 28 vs. Philadelphia (1 p.m.); Jan. 9 vs. Washington (1 p.m.); March 6 vs. the Islanders (5 p.m.); March 13 vs. Pittsburgh (12:30 p.m.); April 9 vs. Detroit (12:30 p.m.).

-- In the Metro Division, the Rangers face the Flyers and Capitals five times apiece, and have four games against the Islanders, Carolina, Columbus, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh.

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-- There are three games against each Atlantic Division teams and two against each Western Conference team.