On the eve of training camp, the Capitals are ready to show the world just how much they have improved.
For the second time in as many weeks, head coach Barry Trotz will have his team practice in front of their own fans for the first time since being released by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The practice will start at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15 and last until 8 p.t.
Wednesday, July 16.
After playing just one preseason game, the Caps are looking to improve on the team’s first preseason win in franchise history.
Last season, the team lost 5-3 to the Ottawa Senators in their season opener.
The Caps won 5-2 in their home opener and 6-3 in their preseason finale, but the loss came against a Tampa Bay team that was the worst team in the NHL in the standings at 19-21-5.
The Capitals went on to win their second straight playoff series.
The only other time they won an opener was in 2005 when they won 5 of their first six games.
The Capitals have won seven straight games, including four straight since the start of the season.
The Caps will be looking to bounce back from a 1-5 start that saw them surrender a franchise-high 13 goals against in the regular season.
They were tied for the NHL lead with the Ottawa Sens with 10, but lost a game in the first round to the Colorado Avalanche.
In their first season back in the league, the Bolts won the Atlantic Division.
Their first five wins were by one goal, but they also lost four of their final five games to finish with a record of 27-30-8.
The Bolts were dealt a major blow on the trade deadline, when they were traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for the rights to forward Evgeni Malkin.
He played his first NHL game against the Penguins, but he never played a minute for the team again.
The Panthers will be hoping to repeat that performance against the Capitals.
The Panthers were eliminated in the Western Conference finals in 2015-16, losing their second consecutive game in Pittsburgh.
In addition to Malkin, the Panthers have a slew of other players on the roster that have already played in the playoffs.
The team has two other forwards in Brad Boyes and Cam Ward.
The game will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet Atlantic at 5 p.p.m., and on Comcast NHL Network at 7 p.d.
The game will also be available live on ComcastSportsnet.com and NHL.com.