Among the deluge of schedule information released Saturday, the Washington Capitals learned that their regular-season opener will take place on Oct. 9 at Verizon Center versus Montreal, on the 40th anniversary of the first game in franchise history.
The Capitals, who on Friday announced that they would host Chicago in the 2015 Winter Classic, will face the Canadiens in a season-opener for the first time in franchise history, according to the team. Washington took the intra-Eastern Conference series last season, 2-1, behind three goals and one assist from captain Alex Ovechkin. Goaltender Braden Holtby, who recently earned a vote of confidence and the presumed starting job from rookie general manager Brian MacLellan, went 2-0 against Montreal last season with a 0.96 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage, per Washington’s press release.
In 2013-14, Montreal reached the conference finals, sweeping Tampa Bay and besting Boston in seven games, before falling in six to the New York Rangers. Washington missed the postseason and later overturned its coach (Adam Oates to Barry Trotz) and general manager (George McPhee to MacLellan).
Montreal will be playing the second game of a road-road swing after opening its season on Oct. 8 at Toronto.
The full regular-season schedule will be announced Sunday at 4 p.m. Here’s what we know so far for the Capitals:
Sunday, Sept. 21: Buffalo, 5
Monday, Sept. 22: at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Sept. 24: at Boston, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 26: Boston, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 28: at Montreal, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 1: at Buffalo, 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 2: vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 5: vs. Carolina, 3 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 9: vs. Montreal (opener)
Thursday, Jan. 1: vs. Chicago (Winter Classic)