At times, the waiting for the end of the NHL lockout seemed interminable for passionate fans of the Washington Capitals. That end came, though, and the Caps will soon be back on the ice at the Verizon Center.
The Capitals, who officially opened their abridged training camp at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington on Sunday morning, will begin their 48-game season on Jan. 19 with a game against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Tampa.
Washington then returns home to face the Winnipeg Jets in their home opener on Jan. 22.
All 48 games will be played with in the Eastern Conference this season. The Capitals will take on division rivals Winnipeg and Carolina five times, Florida and Tampa Bay four times each and the other 10 teams in the conference three times each.
Perhaps most importantly, Sidney Crosby and the Capitals arch-rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, make their only appearance at the Verizon Center on Feb. 3.