The Capitals will open their 40th anniversary season with a home date against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, Oct.9, the NHL announced Saturday.
The League announced the home openers of all 30 teams Saturday, with the full 2014-15 regular season schedule to be released on Sunday at 4 p.m.
The Canadiens fell to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference Finals last season and have reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs six times in the last seven years.
Montreal’s trip to Verizon Center on Opening Night will be the Canadiens’ only visit to D.C. next season with the Capitals set to make two trips to the Bell Centre. While the Canadiens beat the Capitals in the first-round of the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Washington has compiled a 16-4-2 regular-season record against Montreal since the start of the 2008-09 campaign.
Caps goalie Braden Holtby has been particularlly sharp against Montreal, posting a 5-0-0 lifetime record against the Canadiens with a .964 save percentage, 0.99 goals-against-average and two shutouts.
The Capitals are 18-20-1 all-time in season openers and 22-15-2 in home openers (including a 12-2-1 mark at Verizon Center), but have never faced the Canadiens on Opening Night. Montreal will be playing its second game in as many nights as they visit the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct.8.
The Canadiens-Maple Leafs game on Oct.8 is one of four matchups on the first night of the regular-season. Also on Oct.8, the Boston Bruins host the Philadelphia Flyers, the Calgary Flames take on the Vancouver Canucks and the Los Angeles Kings will raise their second Stanley Cup banner to the rafters of Staples Center with a matchup against the San Jose Sharks.
The Capitals-Canadiens matchup will be one of 12 games on Oct.9, and takes place on the 40th anniversary of the first game in franchise history – a 6-3 loss to the Rangers on Oct.9, 1974.
FULL LIST OF 2014-15 NHL HOME OPENERS
Anaheim Ducks: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Minnesota
Arizona Coyotes: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Winnipeg
Boston Bruins: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Philadelphia
Buffalo Sabres: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Columbus
Calgary Flames: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Vancouver
Carolina Hurricanes: Friday, Oct. 10 vs. NY Islanders
Chicago Blackhawks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Buffalo
Colorado Avalanche: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Minnesota
Columbus Blue Jackets: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. NY Rangers
Dallas Stars: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Chicago
Detroit Red Wings: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Boston
Edmonton Oilers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Calgary
Florida Panthers: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. New Jersey
Los Angeles Kings: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. San Jose
Minnesota Wild: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Colorado
Montreal Canadiens: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Boston
Nashville Predators: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Ottawa
New Jersey Devils: Saturday, Oct. 18 vs. San Jose
New York Islanders: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Carolina
New York Rangers: Sunday, Oct. 12 vs. Toronto
Ottawa Senators: Thursday, Oct. 16 vs. Colorado
Philadelphia Flyers: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. New Jersey
Pittsburgh Penguins: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Anaheim
San Jose Sharks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Winnipeg
St. Louis Blues: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. NY Rangers
Tampa Bay Lightning: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Florida
Toronto Maple Leafs: Wednesday, Oct. 8 vs. Montreal
Vancouver Canucks: Saturday, Oct. 11 vs. Edmonton
Washington Capitals: Thursday, Oct. 9 vs. Montreal
Winnipeg Jets: Friday, Oct. 17 vs. Nashville