The NHL officially released its 2013-14 regular-season schedule Friday, and the Capitals will open in Chicago against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks on Oct. 1. They will open Verizon Center two days later on Oct. 3 against the Calgary Flames.
Washington's season opener will be the first time that it has witnessed a Stanley Cup banner raising since Oct. 9, 1975. Do with that what you will.
The league also unveiled the names of the four newly-realigned divisions; Washington will play in the Metropolitan Division with Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, both New York franchises (Rangers/Islanders), New Jersey, Carolina and Columbus. Under realignment, every other NHL team will visit Verizon Center at least once during the season, the first time that will happen since 2003-04.
There will be a nearly three-week break in February -- Feb. 9-25, to be exact -- so that NHL players can participate in the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The league and its players' association reached an agreement with the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Friday to secure that participation.
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