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While the Caps won a hockey game tonight, something else more important happened: Bensten Schone returned to Verizon Center after his tragic accident last January.

While sledding, the six-year-old Bensten accidentally went into the road and was struck by a car. He was taken to the hospital where he stayed in a coma for nearly two weeks. The RMNB community and, later, the entire Caps community, responded, getting behind the hashtag #pray4bman, where individuals posted selfies with hand-written well wishes. Eventually, Bensten pulled through and even sent the team motivational videos during the playoffs.

“He’s working really hard, really really hard and doing really really well,” his mother Heather told RMNB’s Chris Gordon. Bensten goes to Churchill Road Elementary School in Fairfax County, where he receives individualized teaching to help get him back to where he was before the accident.

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Barry Trotz loves slogans and inspirational phrases. The locker room at Verizon Center is filled with them, including some that take up five lines. Last year’s team motto of “Feed the Right Wolf” didn’t quite get the Capitals pumped up enough to win a Stanley Cup. Refreshingly, though, Trotz didn’t seek massive changes after that loss. He knows the Capitals are a good team that could win a championship. That’s why this year’s slogan is “Stick to the Script,” a brainchild of Caps video coach Brett Leonhardt.

“For us to come in this year and say, ‘Okay, it didn’t work last year, we didn’t win the Stanley Cup, so let’s go in a different path,’ that’s absolutely the wrong thing,” Trotz told The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg. “I can see the horizon. I know where I’m going. And because I see the horizon and I didn’t get there last year, I’m going to turn left?”

To drill the idea into the players, Trotz had them watch a short video written by Leonhardt and narrated by former Capital Mike Knuble. On Saturday night before the season opener at Verizon Center, that video was revealed to roaring fans.

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RMNB reader Ned Belliveau (creator of Too Many Caps) is super excited for this season. He’s so excited in fact that he spent hours upon hours making the above pump-up video, set to Karmin’s Brokenhearted. He wants you the feel the same dang way.

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Photo: @WashCaps

Like some other NHL teams, the Washington Capitals had their very own red carpet event today ahead of their home opener against the New Jersey Devils. I’m not sure I love the idea of treating hockey players like movie stars, as the sport’s most marketable quality is just how down-to-earth and approachable these athletes are, but, hey, it’s a limited-time deal. So I can deal.

The first person to make his way down the carpet this afternoon was The Ice Cheetah himself, Jason Chimera. After him came a lot of new suits and a lot of new looks. For instance, John Carlson debuted a man bun, as captured by our own Chris Gordon. The sweetest moment of the ceremony was when Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was walked down the carpet by perfect human being Ann Schaab and RMNB reader Priscilla.

But, Ian, who was the best and worst dressed? Who had the most ridiculous hair? I’m glad you asked.

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The Caps kick off their new season tonight.

To get RMNB’s readers excited, I’ve created for you all a new illustration, featuring an adorable pig pile of Capitals. Follow the cut below for a key by jersey number, and to see some close ups.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

The Capitals closed out the 2015-16 preseason with a dominating 6-2 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday evening. The Isles iced their B-squad players, making this final game an easy win for the home team.

The stars of the night were Ovechkin-Kuznetsov-Oshie line and Washington’s special teams, as you’ll see below.

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The Washington Capitals did a lot of good things this summer, building off a roster that was one game away from making the Eastern Conference Finals. Brian MacLellan traded for TJ Oshie, signed Justin Williams, and re-upped Braden Holtby. These moves, on top of another year of Barry Trotz, has three NHL.com writers— John Kreiser, Mike Morreale, and Matt Cubeta–seeing red.

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The Capitals announced their final roster cuts Monday morning. The most surprising dismissal was veteran center Derek Roy, who played well during training camp. With Jay Beagle announced as the team’s third-line center and Nicklas Backstrom potentially missing only four games, the Caps must have seen little upside keeping Roy around as a fourth-line center.

The Caps also cut forwards Liam O’Brien and Chandler Stephenson, defensemen Aaron Ness and Ryan Stanton, and goalie Justin Peters, who struggled mightily last year, from training camp. That means Philipp Grubauer will be Braden Holtby’s back-up this year.

As the Capitals PR team noted, Ness, Peters, and Stanton will all have to pass through waivers before joining the Hershey Bears in the AHL.

For those of you keeping track at home, that means forwards Chris Brown (who is injured), surprise-of-camp Sean Collins, and oft-criticzed Stan Galiev all remain on the roster, at least for now.

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Caps Bruins Photos: Fight Night At Verizon Center

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The story of the Capitals’ 2-1 shootout win over the Boston Bruins on Friday night wasn’t Alex Ovechkin’s game-tying goal with just two minutes left or the new skycam. It was the fights.

My favorite part was when the scraps resulted in three players from each team in the sin bin. TJ Oshie, Tom Wilson and Liam O’Brien taunted two raging Bruins, Kevan Miller and Adam McQuaid, as David Pastrnak watched from behind them. It was one of those moments where you really wish they had a mic down there to record the conversations between detainees. They went on until the ref entered the Bruins box to have them sit down.

The game was the perfect introduction to the sport for the first timers who attended with me. Four fights, goals to tie it at one, three-on-three overtime, and a shootout win. You can’t get much better than that.

Here is what I captured in my first visit back to Verizon Center this season.

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In June, the Capitals announced a color change to their alternate sweaters, going from white to red.

We were a fan then, and now we’re getting more excited.

On Thursday, the Capitals announced the dates when they’ll be wearing their new duds. You’ll see them at 15 select home games during the 2015-16 season.

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