Photo: Joe Sargent/Getty Images
After the NHL announced that the NHLPA voted in favor of the key dates, details, and COVID-19 protocols on Sunday afternoon, they released the 56-game regular-season schedule for every team. The regular season will start on Wednesday, January 13. The Washington Capitals will open the 2020-21 season against the Buffalo Sabres at First Niagra Center on Thursday, January 14.
Due to the border closure between the United States and Canada, each team will only play intradivisional games during the regular season and the first two rounds of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs. [click to enlarge]
Here is the breakdown of the Capitals’ schedule by opponent:
Boston Bruins – 1/30 vs. BOS, 2/1 vs. BOS, 3/3 at BOS, 3/5 at BOS, 4/8 vs. BOS, 4/11 vs. BOS, 4/18 at BOS, 4/20 at BOS
Buffalo Sabres – 1/14 at BUF, 1/15 at BUF, 1/22 vs. BUF, 1/24 vs. BUF, 2/11 at BUF, 2/13 at BUF, 4/13 vs. BUF, 4/15 at BUF
New Jersey Devils – 2/27 at NJ, 3/1 at NJ, 3/7 vs. NJ, 3/9 vs. NJ, 3/25 vs. NJ, 3/26 vs. NJ, 4/2 at NJ, 4/4 at NJ
New York Islanders – 1/26 vs. NYI, 1/28 vs. NYI, 3/15 vs. NYI, 3/16 vs. NYI, 4/1 at NYI, 4/6 at NYI, 4/22 at NYI, 4/24 at NYI
New York Rangers – 2/4 at NYR, 2/20 vs. NYR, 2/21 vs. NYR, 3/19 vs. NYR, 3/28 vs. NYR, 3/30 at NYR, 5/3 at NYR, 5/5 at NYR
Philadelphia Flyers – 2/7 vs. PHI, 2/9 vs. PHI, 3/11 at PHI, 3/13 at PHI, 4/17 at PHI, 4/27 at PHI, 5/7 vs. PHI, 5/8 vs. PHI
Pittsburgh Penguins – 1/17 at PIT, 1/19 at PIT, 2/14 at PIT, 2/16 at PIT, 2/23 vs. PIT, 2/25 vs. PIT, 4/29 vs. PIT, 5/1 vs. PIT
The NHL could sell the naming rights to the divisions to make some money since a lot of markets will not be able to play games with fans in the crowd.
The only changes from the traditional Metropolitan Division include the Sabres and Bruins coming in and the Carolina Hurricanes and Columbus Blue Jackets going out for only this season.
The Capitals went 11-10-2 against opponents in their division for this season in 2019-20, which would equate to a 27-24-5 record in a 56-game season. But of course, each team has made changes over the offseason and this season will be different. The only teams in the Capitals’ division that did not participate in the NHL’s return-to-play plan last summer were the Sabres and the Devils.
Additional Schedule Notes:
- Longest road-trip: six (4/17-4/27 – PHI, BOS 2x, NYI 2x, PHI)
- Longest homestand: six (2x – 1/22-2/1, 3/15-3/28)
- No bye week but the Capitals will have a five-day break from 3/19-3/25
- One single-game road trip (at NYR on 2/4)
- No All-Star Game
- 10 sets of back-to-backs
The following games take place on January 13, opening night across the league for the 2020-21 season:
- Montreal Canadiens at Toronto Maple Leafs
- Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers
- Chicago Blackhawks at Tampa Bay Lightning
- St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche
- Vancouver Canucks at Edmonton Oilers
By Harrison Brown