November 20, 2014
It’s official: The Blackhawks will play the Washington Capitals in the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, 2015, likely at Nationals Park. The NHL released the 2014-15 regular-season schedule on Sunday, and it includes the league’s biggest regular-season event of the year.
“It’s an honor to be selected by the NHL to participate in the 2015 Winter Classic,” said Hawks president John McDonough. “This is another marquee event for the Blackhawks, and we’re looking forward to spending New Year’s Day in our nation’s capital.”
There are several intriguing stretches for the Hawks as they try to unseat the Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and win their third championship in six years. The Hawks will face the Kings three times — on Nov. 29 in L.A., Jan. 28 in L.A., and March 30 in Chicago.
As previously revealed, the Hawks will open the 2014-15 regular season in Dallas on Oct. 9, then return to the United Center for their home opener on Oct. 11 vs. the Buffalo Sabres. Here are some other stretches of note:
This year’s circus trip takes the Hawks to Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver, Colorado, Anaheim and Los Angeles from Nov. 20-Nov. 29. The ice show trip takes them to Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Anaheim, San Jose, Minnesota, Winnipeg and St. Louis. Following the ice show trip, the Hawks have a whopping eight-game homestand against Phoenix, Vancouver, New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Colorado, Boston and Florida.
In late November, the Hawks face a particularly brutal stretch against the best the Western Conference has to offer that includes the tail end of the circus trip — at Colorado, at Anaheim, at L.A., then home vs. St. Louis.
Home games that aren’t on national TV and aren’t on Sundays will start at 7:30 p.m.. The team had moved the games to 7 p.m. last season.