Capitals Will Face Off Against Huet, Chicago in Home Opener

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Washington Capitals won't have to wait long for one of next season's most anticipated matchups.

One night after opening in Atlanta on Oct. 10, the Capitals will return home and raise their Southeast Division championship banner in front of goaltender Cristobal Huet and the Chicago Blackhawks at Verizon Center. Huet, of course, was one of the biggest reasons the Capitals snapped a five-year postseason drought last season. But the trade-deadline acquisition turned down an offer to remain in Washington and instead signed with the Blackhawks.

The game also will feature all three of last season's rookie of the year finalists -- Calder Trophy winner Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of Chicago and Nicklas Backstrom of Washington.

The previous night's game against the Thrashers also features an intriguing story line: Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau, the reigning coach of the year, will face John Anderson, his best friend and the new coach in Atlanta, for the first time as an NHL coach.

The Capitals also are scheduled to play Western Conference opponents Nashville, Columbus and Los Angeles at home and away this winter as part of a reconfigured schedule, which will be released in its entirety today.

-- Tarik El-Bashir

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