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Save The Dates

The NHL has released its 2007-08 regular season schedule. The Caps open on the road on October 5th against the Thrashers (and return home the following night to host the 'Canes), and close at home with the Panthers on April 5th.

Dates to be circled on your Caps calendar include: Kool-Aid Lips' Sidney Crosby's visits to D.C. (Oct. 20th, Mar. 9th), Dainius Zubrus's return to the VC as a Devil (Dec. 10th), the Caps' next opportunity to be speared by Daniel Briere (Nov. 2nd), the jilted Oilers' first-hand look at Michael Nylander (Jan. 17th), and Tom Poti and Viktor Kozlov's return to Long Island (Oct. 8th).

86 days and change until we get to see the Caps skate in their road whites on the Philips Arena ice.

Update: Here are more particulars from the club:
Like the past two seasons, the Capitals will face the other teams in the Southeast Division eight times each and the remaining Eastern Conference opponents four times each. Washington will host the five teams in the Northwest Division – the Calgary Flames, Colorado Avalanche, Edmonton Oilers, Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks – for one game each while paying a visit to each of the teams in the Central Division.

Nearly half of the Capitals’ 41 home games at Verizon Center fall on weekends, including nine Saturday games, five Friday games and five Sunday games. The schedule features holiday home games on the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 21 against Atlanta) and New Year’s Day (Ottawa).

All but six of Washington’s home games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Select Sunday game start times are subject to change should they be selected for national broadcast on NBC.

Washington’s schedule includes four separate homestands of at least four games, highlighted by a five-game stretch at Verizon Center from Jan. 9-19. The other three four-game homestands are: Oct. 18-26, Dec. 8-14 and March 9-16. Washington will close out the regular season with three straight home games, April 1-5. Each of the Capitals’ last seven games are against Southeast Division opponents.

The team has only one road trip longer than three games, a six-game stretch from March 18-29. The Capitals will play 18 sets of games on consecutive days during the course of the season. Washington plays three home-and-home series – all against Canadian teams and all in January (vs. Ottawa Dec. 29 and Jan. 1, vs. Toronto Jan. 23 and 24 and vs. Montreal Jan. 29 and 31).