Earlier this offseason we learned the Capitals entire slate of games for the upcoming 2014-15 campaign and highlighted some of the notable match-ups and storylines. Now we go a bit deeper by counting down the 10 most interesting contests.
GAME No. 10: Capitals vs. Blues, Sun. Feb. 1
The interest: February may go down as the Capitals' most challenging month of the season with 14 games in 27 days including two meetings each against Los Angeles, Anaheim, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The busy stretch commences against the St. Louis Blues on Feb.1 with another Super Bowl Sunday matinee at Verizon Center.
A Super Bowl Sunday home game has become a fixture on the Capitals' schedule in recent years, with some memorable performances along the way. In 2010, the Capitals rallied from a 4-1 deficit and beat the Penguins 5-4 in overtime in an epic comeback during 'Snowmageddon' in D.C. The win was the Capitals' franchise record 14th straight.
The Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 in overtime last year on Super Bowl Sunday with Alex Ovechkin netting the game-winning goal. The Capitals have hosted a Super Bowl Sunday matinee seven times during the Ovechkin era, compiling a 5-2-0 in those games, with Ovechkin recording a pair of hat-tricks (2009 and 2010).
Overall, the Capitals are 14-7-2 all-time on Super Bowl Sunday, including a 14-6-1 record on home ice.
The Blues: The Blues have been among the NHL's best teams over the past three years, compiling more regular-season wins during that stretch than any team in the Western Conference. Unfortunately for the Blues, they have been unable to translate that success to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
St. Louis finished with the third best record in the NHL last season [52-23-7 for 111 points] before blowing a 2-0 series lead to the Chicago Blackhawks and falling in the first round of the postseason.
St. Louis returns five 20-goal scorers from last season, including U.S. Olympians T.J. Oshie and David Backes. The Blues also signed 20-goal scorer Paul Stastny to a four-year, $28 million deal on July 1.
The history: Of the 16 teams that qualified for the postseason last year, the Capitals earned a season sweep against just one. Yup, the St. Louis (albeit a two-game sweep).
The Capitals beat the Blues 4-1 at Verizon Center on Nov.17, chasing Jaroslav Halak from the game after scoring three goals on six shots. Halak did not play in the rematch- for reasons still not known - when the Capitals beat the Blues 4-1 again on Apr.8, in a game highlighted by Ovechkin's 50th goal of the season.
In two games against the Blues last season, the Caps went 2-0-0 and outscored St. Louis 8-2. Ovechkin had three goals and five points in the two games, his best numbers against any Western Conference opponent last season.