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
GAME No. 9: Capitals vs. Rangers, Wed. Mar. 11
The interest: In an odd scheduling quirk, the Capitals and Rangers meet just once in the first 67 games of the regular-season (Dec. 23 in New York), before facing off three times in the final 15 games of the campaign.
With both the Caps and Rangers likely jockeying for playoff positioning down the stretch, their three meetings in the final month of the regular-season could go a long way in determining seeding in the Metropolitan Division. Washington and New York will also meet March 29 at Madison Square Garden and in the regular-season finale, April 11, at Verizon Center.
While the Capitals face the Rangers three times over the final 15 games of the season, they'll oppose the rest of the Atlantic Division just twice (one home game each against New Jersey and Carolina) over that same stretch.
Scheduling advantage: The Capitals' March 11 meeting with the Rangers will be the third game of a season-high five-game homestand (March 5-15), while the Rangers will arrive in D.C. playing their third road game in four nights.
While the Capitals have three days off (no games) after hosting the Wild on March 7, the Rangers visit the Blackhawks on March 8 and the Islanders on March 10 before making their maiden trip to D.C. on March 11.
If a rested Capitals bunch can take advantage of a potentially tiring Rangers team, give the edge to the home team.
The Rangers: The Rangers reached the Stanley Cup Finals last season for the first time since 1994 due in large part to a trio of players that have given the Capitals headaches for years- goalie Henrik Lundqvist, defenseman Ryan McDonagh and forward Martin St. Louis.