With the NHL having now released the schedule for the shortened 2012-13 regular season (NHL.com), it is time for fans of the Washington Capitals to look at the schedule and start marking their calendars in anticipation of some key games.
With no inter-conference games to speak of, the 48-game season will almost have the feel of a playoff game each and every night.
In looking at the Caps schedule, there are so many great games on the horizon that it is hard to really pick the ones that are most enticing.
Of course, the season opener this coming Saturday on the road against the Tampa Bay Lightning will be a big game.
The same can be said for the home opener against the Winnipeg Jets just three nights later.
And, without question, games that take place in March and April figure to be huge. How huge is tough to say until the season gets going and there is a better idea of which teams will rise up and which ones will fall by the wayside.
But in looking at the Caps' schedule right now, five games stand out as games any Caps fan simply can't miss.