The NHL board of governors on Monday night approved a new conference format in which the Flyers still will be grouped with their geographic rivals, including the Pittsburgh Penguins.

One of the proposed plans would have separated the Flyers and Penguins, but in the end the two Pennsylvania teams stayed in the same conference.

The format is changing for the 2012-13 season from the six-division setup to four new conferences. There will be two seven-team conferences and two eight-team conferences.

Commissioner Gary Bettman has been authorized to implement this proposal, pending input from the NHL Players' Association.

The Flyers are in what is being called Conference D for the time being. The other teams in Conference D are Carolina, New Jersey, the New York Islanders, the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, and Washington.

Here are the other conferences:

Conference A: Anaheim, Calgary, Colorado, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Jose, and Vancouver.

Conference B: Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Minnesota, Nashville, St. Louis, and Winnipeg.

Conference C: Boston, Buffalo, Florida, Montreal, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, and Toronto.

The Flyers, in a seven-team conference, would play other conference teams six times - three at home, three away. In the eight-team conferences, teams would play either five or six times in a season on a rotating basis.

All NHL teams would play those teams outside their conference twice - once home and once away. So the Flyers would have 36 conference games and 46 nonconference games.

The top four teams in each conference qualify for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The first-place team would play the fourth-place team, and the second-place team would play the third-place team. The four respective conference champions would meet in the third round of the playoffs, with the survivors playing for the Stanley Cup.

Contact staff writer Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com, or @sjnard on Twitter.