On this date in history, the Capitals played their inaugural game in Washington DC at MCI Center. They beat the Florida Panthers 3-2 in overtime.
Twenty-three years ago to the day, the Washington Capitals officially left USAir Arena in Landover, Maryland, and played their first game at the MCI Center in Washington DC. Vice-president Al Gore and his wife Tipper were among the 19,740 in attendance.
The Capitals defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 on December 5, 1997, after bottom-six forward Jeff Toms scored unassisted in overtime. The game marked Toms’ sixth with the Caps since being claimed that November from the Tampa Bay Lightning.
“We got a bounce at the blueline and then I used my speed to beat Laus,” Toms said to a much-younger Mike Vogel after the game. “Being picked up by Washington is the best thing that’s ever happened in my career.”