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2011 NHL Schedule: Washington Capitals Open At Home v. Carolina Hurricanes October 8

The 2010-11 NHL season just ended, but it's time to look ahead to 2011-12. With that said, the Washington Capitals will open the 2011-12 season at home October 8 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The Caps have not opened a season at Verizon Center since 2005-06, when Alex Ovechkin made his NHL debut by scoring two goals in a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Caps last faced the Hurricanes in a home opener in 2007-08; Ovechkin scored a goal and new associate goalie coach Olaf Kolzig earned a shutout in a 2-0 win. In fact, via Ted Starkey, the Caps have not opened a season against the Hurricanes since the latter was still known as the Hartford Whalers.

Meanwhile, the Hurricanes won't have it easy. Carolina opens its 2011-12 schedule at home against the Tampa Bay Lightning, who ended the Hurricanes' season at home this past season. The next night, the Hurricanes travel to Verizon Center to take on the Caps.

The remainder of the 2011-12 schedule is set to be released this afternoon around 2 p.m.