The Capitals will see the Stanley Cup banner drop for the second year in a row, but this time will not be as much fun.
The 2019-20 season begins in St. Louis on Oct. 2, where the Blues will raise their championship banner into the rafters at Enterprise Center. The two teams have a contentious history with Washington forward Tom Wilson earning suspensions in preseason meetings between the two teams each of the past two years.
The NHL announced all home openers on Friday afternoon. The Capitals’ first game at Capital One Arena will be the same as the last one: Against the Carolina Hurricanes, who won Game 7 of a first-round playoff series there on April 24. The home opener is on a Saturday evening and will be Washington’s third game in four nights to start the new campaign.
The Capitals play Wednesday in St. Louis and then travel to New York to play the Islanders in their home opener on Oct. 4. That game will be played at smaller, louder Nassau Coliseum and not in New York’s other home arena in Brooklyn, Barclays Center.
The Islanders played 12 of their 41 home games and the first round of the playoffs at Nassau Coliseum last year while they await a new arena at nearby Belmont Park.
Washington has won the Metropolitan Division four consecutive years, but after a run to the Eastern Conference Final the young Hurricanes are expected to make a push to end that streak.
The NHL will announce its full schedule on Tuesday afternoon. Friday was for home openers only.
This will actually be the third time in four years the Capitals will be on hand to witness the Stanley Cup banner raising on opening night. They had their own last season against the Boston Bruins and won it 7-0 before a raucous crowd. In 2016 they had to watch the Pittsburgh Penguins’ banner ceremony just a few months after losing to them in the second round of the playoffs.
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