The Capitals will open their 40th anniversary season at home on Oct. 9 against the Montreal Canadiens, before visiting the Boston Bruins two nights later for their first road game of the campaign on Oct. 11.
A day after the NHL announced the home openers of all 30 teams, the League released the entire 2014-15 schedule Sunday afternoon.
For the second straight year, the Capitals’ 82-game slate includes 30 games against teams within the Metropolitan Division, 24 games against Atlantic Division opponents and 28 games against Western Conference competition.
FAMILIAR FOES: Within the Metropolitan Division, the Capitals have four meetings each against the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Capitals play two teams- the Columbus Blue Jackets and New Jersey Devils- five times each, with New Jersey the only team scheduled to visit Verizon Center three times.
The Penguins visit D.C. on Jan. 28 and Feb. 25, while the defending Eastern Conference champion Rangers won’t make their first trip to the District until Mar. 11 in game No.68 on the Capitals’ itinerary. The Rangers also visit Verizon Center in the regular-season finale for both teams on Apr. 11.
The Caps and Rangers will meet just once in the first 67 games of the regular-season, but three times in the final 15 games of the campaign.
WINTER CLASSIC PREVIEW: Unlike in past seasons when participants of the NHL’s Winter Classic have met in the days or weeks leading up to their marquee matchup, the Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks won’t face each other at all next December.
Instead, the Capitals will make their only trip to the Windy City on Fri. Nov. 7 and face the Blackhawks 54 days before they meet again, outdoors, on Jan.1.
Not sure what this means for a potential 24/7 ‘Road to the Winter Classic’ series on HBO next season. In each of the previous three seasons of the series, the third episode would include a matchup between the two Winter Classic participants.
AWAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS: The Capitals play 13 games in December and all but four of them will be on the road. The Caps have three three-game road trips, which fortunately are all within the Eastern Conference.
LEAVING THE ISLAND: Barring a meeting in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Capitals will make their final trip to New York’s Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Dec. 29. The Islanders are expected to move to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn for the start of the 2015-16 season.
MUSIC CITY REUINION: Capitals head coach Barry Trotz returns to Nashville on Fri. Jan. 16, when the Capitals face the Predators for the first of their two meetings next season (the Predators visit Verizon Center on Sat. Mar. 28).
Trotz was behind the bench for the first 1196 games in Predators franchise history, before being relieved of his coaching duties in April. Trotz compiled a 557-479-60-100 record in his 16 years as Nashville head coach.
COACHING RETURN PART II: Former Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau returns to Verizon Center when the Ducks visit on Feb. 6. Anaheim beat the Capitals 3-2 on Dec. 23, 2013, in Boudreau’s first game back in D.C. as an opposing head coach.
DIFFICULT STRETCH: The most difficult stretch of the Capitals’ season may lie in February when the Capitals play 14 games in 27 days, including two meetings each with Los Angeles, Anaheim, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
Washington opens play in February with the annual Super Bowl Sunday matchup at Verizon Center, which will feature the St. Louis Blues as the guests on Feb.1. Two days later, the Capitals will host the defending Stanley Cup champion L.A. Kings on Feb. 3.
The Capitals hit the road for a grueling four-game road trip from Feb. 11-17, in which they will play four games in seven nights in San Jose, L.A., Anaheim and Pittsburgh.
MARCHING HOME: If the Capitals can survive a potentially difficult stretch in February, they will at least have the benefit of a home heavy schedule once the calendar turns to March.
The Capitals will play nine of 14 games at home in March, highlighted by a season-high five-game homestand from Mar. 5-15. Washington’s five-game homestand will include games against Minnesota, Buffalo, the Rangers, Dallas and Boston.
BACK TO BACKS: The Capitals play 16 sets of back-to-back games next season, one less than they had last year. There is only one home-and-home set with an opponent, and it comes against the Islanders on Wed. Nov. 26 in Uniondale and Fri. Nov.28 in Washington (Black Friday).
BELOW IS THE ENTIRE CAPITALS' 2014-15 SCHEDULE:
OCTOBER (9 GAMES: 5H/4A)
Thu. Oct. 9 vs. Montreal 7 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 11 at Boston 7 p.m.
Tue. Oct. 14 vs. San Jose 7 p.m.
Thu. Oct. 16 vs. New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 18 vs. Florida 7 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 22 at Edmonton 9:30 p.m.
Sat. Oct. 25 at Calgary 10 p.m.
Sun. Oct. 26 at Vancouver 10 p.m.
Wed. Oct. 29 vs. Detroit 7:30 p.m.
NOVEMBER (14 GAMES: 7H/7A)
Sat. Nov. 1 at Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Sun. Nov. 2 vs. Arizona 7 p.m.
Tue. Nov. 4 vs. Calgary 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 7 at Chicago 8:30 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 8 vs. Carolina 8 p.m.
Tue. Nov. 11 vs. Columbus 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 14 vs. New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 15 at St. Louis 8 p.m.
Tue. Nov. 18 at Arizona 9 p.m.
Thu. Nov. 20 at Colorado 9 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 22 vs. Buffalo 7 p.m.
Wed. Nov. 26 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Fri. Nov. 28 vs. N.Y. Islanders 5 p.m.
Sat. Nov. 29 at Toronto 7 p.m.
DECEMBER (13 GAMES: 4H/9A)
Tue. Dec. 2 vs. Vancouver 7 p.m.
Thu. Dec. 4 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 6 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Tue. Dec. 9 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Thu. Dec. 11 vs. Columbus 7 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 13 vs. Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Tue. Dec. 16 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Thu. Dec. 18 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 20 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Mon. Dec. 22 vs. Ottawa 7 p.m.
Tue. Dec. 23 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Sat. Dec. 27 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Mon. Dec. 29 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
JANUARY (13 GAMES: 7H/6A)
Thu. Jan. 1 vs. Chicago (Winter Classic)
Sun. Jan. 4 vs. Florida 3 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 7 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Thu. Jan. 8 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 10 vs. Detroit 7 p.m.
Mon. Jan. 12 vs Colorado 7 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 14 vs. Philadelphia 8 p.m.
Fri. Jan. 16 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 17 at Dallas 8 p.m.
Tue. Jan. 20 vs. Edmonton 7 p.m.
Tue. Jan. 27 at Columbus 8 p.m.
Wed. Jan. 28 vs. Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Sat. Jan. 31 at Montreal 1 p.m.
FEBRUARY (14 GAMES: 7H/7A)
Sun. Feb. 1 vs. St. Louis 1 p.m.
Tue. Feb. 3 vs. Los Angeles 7 p.m.
Thu. Feb. 5 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 6 vs. Anaheim 7 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 8 vs. Philadelphia 3 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 11 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 14 at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 15 at Anaheim 8 p.m.
Tue. Feb. 17 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Thu. Feb. 19 vs. Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 21 vs. N.Y. Islanders 12:30 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 22 at Philadelphia 3 p.m.
Wed. Feb. 25 vs Pittsburgh 8 p.m.
Fri. Feb. 27 at Carolina 7 p.m.
MARCH (14 GAMES; 9H/5A)
Sun. Mar. 1 vs. Toronto 7 p.m.
Tue. Mar. 3 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Thu. Mar. 5 vs. Minnesota 7 p.m.
Sat. Mar 7 vs. Buffalo 7 p.m.
Wed. Mar. 11 vs. N.Y. Rangers 8 p.m.
Fri. Mar. 13 vs. Dallas 7 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 15 vs. Boston 7:30 p.m.
Mon. Mar. 16 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Thu. Mar. 19 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 21 at Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Thu. Mar. 26 vs. New Jersey 7 p.m.
Sat. Mar. 28 vs. Nashville 12:30 p.m.
Sun. Mar. 29 at N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m.
Tue. Mar. 31 vs. Carolina 7 p.m.
APRIL (5 GAMES: 2H/3A)
Thu. Apr. 2 at Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Sat. Apr. 4 at Ottawa 7 p.m.
Sun. Apr. 5 at Detroit 5 p.m.
Wed. Apr. 8 vs. Boston 8 p.m.
Sat. Apr. 11 vs. N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m.