The Los Angeles Kings will raise their first Stanley Cup championship banner to the roof of the Staples Center when they open the 2012-13 regular season against the New York Rangers on October 12, the National Hockey League (NHL) announced on Thursday.

The new NHL season will open on October 11 on four fronts with 2011 champion Boston Bruins visiting the Philadelphia Flyers while the St. Louis Blues will face off against the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

There will also be a pair of opening night contests in Canada with the Montreal Canadiens playing host to the Ottawa Senators and the Calgary Flames welcoming the Vancouver Canucks.

Among the highlights of the 1,230 regular season games will be the Winter Classic on January 1 featuring an Original Six showdown between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium that is expected to attract a record crowd of over 100,000 fans to the outdoor contest.

The league will break from January 24-28 for the annual All-Star game that will be played in Columbus.

The regular season will end on April 13 with 28 of the league's 30 teams seeing action.

(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; editing by Steve Ginsburg)