The NHL’s 2017-18 outdoor game schedule is in the books. The Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 in Saturday night’s Stadium Series game from the Navy–Marine Corps Memorial Stadium.
As is a common theme in these games, the scenery and pomp and circumstance was outstanding. And the Capitals were so good that the lights went out.
Players will arrive at the rink dressed in a suit, but Capitals defenseman John Carlson had a different take on his pre-game fashion choice. He decided to pay homage to the U.S. Naval Academy’s rich football history and draw inspiration from Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Famer Roger Staubach, a former Midshipmen.
The pre-game festivities began with the U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen marching out to “man the rails.” The Maple Leafs were led out by the 2nd Canadian Mechanized Bridge Group Pipes and Drums while the Capitals followed the U.S. Naval Academy Pipes and Drums.
Following the anthems, the gold medal-winning U.S. men’s Olympic curling team, who were later interviewed by Jeremy Roenick, delivered the opening face-off puck in a very unique way:
It wouldn’t be an NHL outdoor game without some fireworks, of course.
Once the puck dropped, the teams treated the 29,516 fans in attendance to a four-goal opening period, which included Alex Ovechkin’s 40th of the season and 598th of his NHL career:
Here’s why Hilary Knight was missing:
As the teams began to switch sides at the midway point of the final period, the lights went out in the stadium, causing a 15-minute delay.
Once play resumed, it was all business for the Capitals as they stayed perfect outdoors (3-0-0) with the victory.