The Washington Times - June 23, 2011, 02:11PM

Don’t look now, but the hockey season is about 3 ½ months away.

The Capitals will open the regular season Oct. 8 against the Hurricanes at Verizon Center. It’s the first of 24 games against opponents from the Southeast Division.

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But the Southeast goes through Winnipeg for one year, as the yet-to-be-named franchise that relocated from Atlanta. The Caps visit Winnipeg three times – Nov. 17, Dec. 15 and March 16.

Their longest road trip of the season is a five-game swing in March that includes games at the Islanders, Winnipeg, Blackhawks, Red Wings and Flyers.

Fans might enjoy a President’s Day weekend Southeast Division swing that includes games at the Panthers on Feb. 17, the Lightning on Feb. 18 and the Hurricanes on Feb. 20.

The first matchup with the rival Penguins is in Pittsburgh on Oct. 12. They host the Penguins for the first time on Dec. 1.

The Caps’ final regular-season game is April 7 at Madison Square Garden vs. the Rangers.

Here’s the full schedule:

2011-12 CAPITALS SCHEDULE
(All Times Eastern)
Oct. 8 Carolina 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 at Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Oct. 15 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 Florida 7 p.m.
Oct. 20 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Oct. 22 Detroit 7 p.m.
Oct. 27 at Edmonton 9:30 p.m.
Oct. 29 at Vancouver 10 p.m.
Nov. 1 Anaheim 7 p.m.
Nov. 4 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Nov. 5 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Nov. 8 Dallas 7 p.m.
Nov. 11 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Nov. 12 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 at Nashville 8 p.m.
Nov. 17 at Winnipeg 8:30 p.m.
Nov. 19 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Nov. 21 Phoenix 7 p.m.
Nov. 23 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Nov. 25 N.Y. Rangers 4 p.m.
Nov. 26 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Nov. 29 St. Louis 7 p.m.
Dec. 1 Pittsburgh 7 p.m.
Dec. 3 Ottawa 7 p.m.
Dec. 5 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7 at Ottawa 7 p.m.
Dec. 9 Toronto 7 p.m.
Dec. 13 Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Dec. 15 at Winnipeg 8:30 p.m.
Dec. 17 at Colorado 9 p.m.
Dec. 20 Nashville 7 p.m.
Dec. 23 at New Jersey 7 p.m.
Dec. 26 at Buffalo 7 p.m.
Dec. 28 N.Y. Rangers 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 30 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Dec. 31 at Columbus 7 p.m.
Jan. 3 Calgary 7 p.m.
Jan. 7 at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Jan. 9 at Los Angeles 10:30 p.m.
Jan. 11 Pittsburgh 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 13 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Jan. 15 Carolina 5 p.m.
Jan. 17 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Jan. 18 at Montreal 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 20 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Jan. 22 at Pittsburgh 3 p.m.
Jan. 24 Boston 7 p.m.
Jan. 31 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 at Florida 8 p.m.
Feb. 4 at Montreal 2 p.m. 
Feb. 5 Boston 12:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 Florida 7 p.m.
Feb. 9 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Feb. 12 at N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m.
Feb. 13 San Jose 7 p.m.
Feb. 17 at Florida 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 18 at Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Feb. 20 at Carolina 7 p.m.
Feb. 22 at Ottawa 7 p.m.
Feb. 24 Montreal 7 p.m.
Feb. 25 at Toronto 7 p.m.
Feb. 28 N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Mar. 2 New Jersey 7 p.m.
Mar. 4 Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Mar. 6 Carolina 7 p.m.
Mar. 8 Tampa Bay 7 p.m.
Mar. 10 at Boston 1 p.m.
Mar. 11 Toronto 5 p.m.
Mar. 13 at N.Y. Islanders 7 p.m.
Mar. 16 at Winnipeg 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 18 at Chicago 7 p.m.
Mar. 19 at Detroit 7:30 p.m.
Mar. 22 at Philadelphia 7 p.m.
Mar. 23 Winnipeg 7 p.m.
Mar. 25 Minnesota 5 p.m.
Mar. 27 Buffalo 7 p.m.
Mar. 29 at Boston 7 p.m.
Mar. 31 Montreal 7 p.m.
Apr. 2 at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Apr. 5 Florida 7 p.m.
Apr. 7 at N.Y. Rangers 3 p.m.