As Caps fans await tomorrow's NHL Awards and this weekend's Entry Draft, they can also get a head start on filling in their calendars with the team's just-released pre- and regular season dates.
The preseason schedule features six games against three opponents and includes three games at Verizon Center. The boys will play their first preseason game on the road at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22, at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The team’s preseason home opener at Verizon Center is Tuesday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. against the Boston Bruins.
The 82-game regular-season schedule for 2010-11 begins on Friday, Oct. 8, at the Atlanta Thrashers, with the home opener set for the next night, Oct. 9, against New Jersey at the Phone Booth.
Here's the official release with all the need-to-know dates from the team:
The 2010-11 NHL schedule format, like the last two seasons, has the Capitals facing the other teams in the Southeast Division six times each and the remaining Eastern Conference opponents four times each. Washington plays each team in the Western Conference at least once, with two games each against Anaheim, San Jose and St. Louis. Nine Western Conference teams will visit Verizon Center.
The Capitals will face the Pittsburgh Penguins on New Year’s Day at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh for the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The two teams will also face off on Super Bowl Sunday for the second straight year, a 12:30 p.m. faceoff on Feb. 6 at Verizon Center.
Washington has six homestands of at least three games on the schedule, the longest being a four-game stretch at Verizon Center from Dec. 4-11. The Capitals have only two stretches of at least four straight games on the road, and both should allow the team to return home during the road trip (five games from Feb. 14-21, six games from March 15-26). The team has 15 sets of games on consecutive days.
Nearly half of the Capitals’ 41 home games at Verizon Center fall on weekends, including five Friday games, eight Saturday games and six Sunday games. The schedule features holiday home games on Veterans Day (Nov. 11 vs. Tampa Bay), the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 26 vs. Tampa Bay) and Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 6 vs. Pittsburgh).
All but six of Washington’s home games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m., with the exceptions all falling on Sunday afternoons or early evenings.
Television broadcast plans will be released at a later date. All Capitals games can be heard on Caps Radio 1500 and 820 AM as well as WashingtonCaps.com.
2010-11 Washington Capitals Schedule
Fri., Oct. 8 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 9 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Mon., Oct. 11 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 13 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 16 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 19 Boston 7 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 21 at Boston 7 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 23 Atlanta 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 27 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Thurs., Oct. 28 at Minnesota 8 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 30 at Calgary 10 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 3 Toronto 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 5 Boston 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 7 Philadelphia 5 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 9 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Thurs., Nov. 11 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 13 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 14 Atlanta 5 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 17 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 19 at Atlanta 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Nov. 20 Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Mon., Nov. 22 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 24 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 26 Tampa Bay 5 p.m.
Sun., Nov. 28 Carolina 5 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 1 at St. Louis 8 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 2 at Dallas 8:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 4 Atlanta 7 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 6 Toronto 7 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 9 Florida 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 11 Colorado 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 12 at N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 15 Anaheim 7 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 18 at Boston 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 19 at Ottawa 5 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 21 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 23 Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 26 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 28 Montreal 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 1 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Pittsburgh 1 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 4 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 8 Florida 7 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 11 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 12 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 14 Vancouver 7 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 16 Ottawa 3 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 18 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Thurs., Jan. 20 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 22 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 24 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 26 at Atlanta 7 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 30 2011 NHL All-Star Game
Tues., Feb. 1 Montreal 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 4 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 6 Pittsburgh 12:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 8 San Jose 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 12 Los Angeles 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 14 at Phoenix 10 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 16 at Anaheim 10 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 17 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 20 at Buffalo 3 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 21 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 25 N.Y. Rangers 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 26 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Tues., March 1 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Thurs., March 3 St. Louis 7 p.m.
Sun., March 6 at Florida 7 p.m.
Mon., March 7 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 9 Edmonton 7 p.m.
Fri., March 11 Carolina 7 p.m.
Sun., March 13 Chicago 12:30 p.m.
Tues., March 15 at Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 16 at Detroit 7 p.m.
Fri., March 18 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Tues., March 22 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Fri., March 25 at Ottawa 7:30 p.m.
Sat., March 26 at Montreal 7 p.m.
Tues., March 29 Carolina 7 p.m.
Thurs., March 31 Columbus 7 p.m.
Sat., April 2 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Tues., April 5 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Wed., April 6 Florida 7 p.m.
Sat., April 9 at Florida 7 p.m.
All Times Eastern
In addition to playing both Columbus and Boston twice, the Caps also have a home-and-home series with the Nashville Predators, beginning with a road game at Nashville on Saturday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m.