The Washington Capitals are expected to get their second outdoor game next season. It will likely be held at the Naval Academy.
One of the greatest moments of the Washington Capitals franchise is the 2015 Winter Classic. The game at Nationals Park was exciting and it showed the nation Washington could support and get behind a hockey team. Troy Brouwer‘s game winning goal is one of the most memorable in franchise history.
According to Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post, the Caps will be getting their second outdoor game, this one at the Naval Academy.
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This will be the second outdoor game they’ve hosted and the third overall they’ve been in. Their first outdoor game came back in 2011, a win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. 2015 saw the Caps beat the Chicago Blackhawks 3-2. No word yet on who the opponent will be, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Carolina Hurricanes or Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Florida Panthers might also be an option, given their majority owner’s ties to the military. However, the Hurricanes and Blue Jackets would make more sense. First of all, both are more local than the Panthers. Secondly, both teams haven’t participated in an outdoor game. The NHL likes to give those teams chances, usually at an away game to start.
Another option could be the New Jersey Devils. One can assume the New York Rangers aren’t an option considering they’re already having the Winter Classic against the Buffalo Sabres. However, the New York Islanders could be an option. Considering the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers both played in an outdoor game in 2016, it’s not likely either will play at the Naval Academy. The game is expected to be confirmed on Monday.
UPDATE 8:52 p.m. ET: Stephen Whyno of the Associated Press is reporting the Capitals will face the Toronto Maple Leafs. According to AP sources, the game will be held on March 3, 2018.