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Caps Release 2008-09 Schedule

We found out yesterday that the Caps open in Atlanta on Oct. 10 and host Cristobal Huet and Chicago the follow night. A few moments ago, the rest of the 2008-09 schedule was revealed.

I've only had a minute to look it over, but here are a few of the key dates/stretches that jumped out at me immediately:

*Olie Kolzig will make his return to Washington on Nov. 10. Who knows if he'll be the starter -- Mike Smith seems to have that job locked down at the moment -- but I've got to imagine that Barry Melrose will put Kolzig between the pipes for this one. Though the Caps haven't said anything about a tribute video, I think one would be in order.

*Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, former Cap Matt Cooke (that's probably the first time he's been mentioned in the same sentence with those two) and the Penguins visit Verizon Center for the first time on Feb. 22. I'm guessing there will be more Caps fans than Pens fans this time around.

*Philadelphia comes to town on Jan.6 with a familiar name -- former Cap Steve Eminger -- on the blue line.

*Stanley Cup champion Detroit visits on Jan. 31.

*Of course, there will also be a different schedule format this season.

The NHL tweaked the overall schedule this year so teams would play their divisional rivals only six times instead of eight, which had been customary the past three seasons. In doing so, every team in the league will play one another this year and teams will also play three non-conference opponents at home and on the road. Washington's three non-conference opponents that they will play twice are Columbus, Los Angeles and Nashville.

*Ten of the final 15 games are on the road, including the last three (against Atlanta, Tampa Bay and Florida) due to the Frozen Four.

*The whole schedule can be found here.

Reminder: Put Cancer On Ice will host its second annual Dave Fay Memorial Hockey game Saturday at 8:30 p.m. at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. From the nice folks at PCOI:

With support from the Washington Capitals and the NHL Hockey Fights Cancer, PCOI will augment this year's game funds by holding a silent auction for authentic, autographed NHL and Capitals team items. The 14 auction items include a Western Conference All-Stars jersey, a Nicklas Backstrom jersey, and a Limited Edition Young Guns (Ovechkin, Backstrom, Green and Semin) signed and framed poster, among others.

For more information visit www.putcanceronice.org.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  July 17, 2008; 11:34 AM ET
 
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