On Super Bowl Sunday, which falls on February 7 this year, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs will be trying for their second consecutive Super Bowl victory against six-time champion Tom Brady, the longtime New England Patriots quarterback who is now at the helm of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Washington Capitals, meanwhile, play the Philadelphia Flyers in a marquee matchup at noon.
The Capitals are playing in their 13th consecutive home game on Super Bowl Sunday. Overall, the Caps have played 30 games on Super Bowl Sunday, 28 of them at home with their overall record on football’s big day sitting at 17-11-2 and their overall home record at 17-10-1. The team has lost the last three games they have played, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2020, to the Boston Bruins in 2019, and to the Vegas Golden Knights in 2018. They won their two matchups prior to that, beating the Los Angeles Kings in 2017 and the Philadelphia Flyers in 2016. They had run off an eight-game winning streak on Super Bowl Sunday that spanned from 1998 until 2001. During that time frame, they did not play games on Super Bowl Sunday in 1999, 2002, 2004, 2005 (due to the season-long lockout), and 2008.
The first game the Capitals ever played on Super Bowl Sunday was a home game on January 12, 1975, during the team’s first year team in existence, a 7-2 to the Montreal Canadiens. They then played twice on the road, beating the Quebec Nordiques 3-2 in 1980 and tying the New York Rangers 4-4 in 1982. Since that particular game against the Rangers, every Super Bowl Sunday matchup has been at home, beginning on January 31, 1988, including the last twelve in a row and the last thirteen to include 2020-21.
Since the 2008-09 season, the NHL has embraced the tradition of the Capitals hosting a matinee game that day. With the Super Bowl not starting until 6:30 pm, the NHL and NBC figured it was a good idea to give sports fans something to watch on Sunday afternoon.
Capitals Assistant General Manager Don Fishman once offered his opinion on playing Super Bowl Sundays, saying:
“We’ve always been a team that likes the matinees on the weekend because we’re more family-oriented. On Super Bowl Sunday, if we can get an early start, it’s always a natural fit. We don’t want to compete with the Super Bowl, so we always want to get a 12:30 start. It’s a little early for some people but it gives people plenty of time to get home. It was just a natural fit for our market and I think the fans like it.”
Mitchell Layton/NHLI via Getty Images
In analyzing Super Bowl Sunday opponents, the Caps’ most common opponent has been the Pittsburgh Penguins, who they have played seven times. The Philadelphia Flyers are a close second, with six matchups in the past. Because they play the Flyers this time around, they will now faced their foes from the City of Brotherly Love as much the Penguins. They have faced both the Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings three times, and have faced the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders twice. They have faced the following teams just once on Super Bowl Sunday: Montreal Canadiens, Quebec Nordiques, St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Los Angeles Kings, and Vegas Golden Knights.
Some of the team’s most memorable games in franchise history took place on Super Bowl Sunday, including their contest against the Penguins on February 7, 2010, in which they fell behind 4-0 but came back to tie the game at 4-4 and win in overtime on a Mike Knuble goal and featured a hat trick by Alex Ovechkin, the game took place after a major blizzard had affected the Washington D.C. area. There was also a game during which the Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-5 in overtime, thanks to an Alex Ovechkin goal.
Below is a list of each game the Caps have played on Super Bowl Sunday from most recent to earliest. A detailed recap can be found for most of the more recent games.
|2/4/2018||Las Vegas Knights||H||4-3||L||17-8-1|
|2/5/2017||Los Angeles Kings||H||5-0||W||17-7-1|
|2/1/2015||St. Louis Blues||H||4-3||L||15-7-1|
|2/2/2014||Detroit Red Wings||H||6-5||W||OT||15-6-1|
|2/4/2007||New York Islanders||H||2-1||W||SO||11-4-1|
|1/26/2003||New York Rangers||H||7-2||W||10-4-1|
|1/30/1994||Detroit Red Wings||H||6-3||W||5-2-1|
|1/27/1991||New York Islanders||H||5-4||W||OT||3-2-0|
|1/22/1989||Detroit Red Wings||H||4-3||L||1-2-0|
|1/24/1982||New York Rangers||R||4-4||T|
By Diane Doyle