The Washington Post

Washington Capitals schedule released

The NHL released the 2012-13 regular season schedule Thursday, with the Capitals slated to open the campaign on Oct. 12 at home against the defending Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Devils.

Check out the full schedule here, but keep in mind that everything is subject to change because of the uncertainty surrounding the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with the players’ association. The current CBA expires on Sept. 15 and the two sides have yet to begin negotiations.

Capitals General Manager George McPhee has said his focus remains on building a team, not labor discussions but that he hopes the season starts on time.

“I'm hopeful that we're playing,” McPhee said last week. “That's for other people to talk about. I'm a hockey operations guy and I'm trying to make a team.”

— One of the three Western Conference teams the Capitals play a home-and-home against is defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles. Washington hosts the Kings for a matinee on Feb. 3, Super Bowl Sunday, and then visit Staples Center two weeks later on Feb. 15.

— Washington’s longest homestand is five games from Dec. 11 to Dec. 20, when it hosts the Penguins, Flyers, Lightning, Panthers and Canadiens. The longest road trip is a four-game jaunt in October, whe the Capitals visit Montreal, Winnipeg, Calgary and Minnesota.

— New Year’s Eve features a rivalry matchup against the Penguins with the first trip to Pittsburgh of the season.

— The Capitals have 12 sets of back-to-back games and eight matinees.

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