Their game against the Ottawa Senators marked the fourth consecutive year D.C. has hosted what the NHL calls “Hockey For Everyone” night.
The Capitals won the game 6-1.
According to a press release at nhl.com, players on both the D.C. and Ottawa teams used sticks wrapped in Pride Tape during pregame warmups, and fans who purchased a special Pride Night ticket received an ALLCAPS pride night flag.
Later this year, during Pride in June, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation is set to host an auction benefiting SMYAL (Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders), a local nonprofit that supports and empowers LGBTQ youth in the Washington metropolitan region. The auction will feature the autographed hockey sticks wrapped in pride tape, and other Capitals memorabilia. Last year’s auction raised more than $18,300.
The team has also hosted a Pride Parade for four consecutive years in D.C. Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby has been a stand-out ally in these festivities, having marched in three Capital Pride Parades, attended Human Rights Campaign events in support of LGBTQ initiatives, and was named the Capital’s LGBTQ inclusion ambassador.
Beginning Tuesday night, Capitals fans all over social media joined in with the hashtag #RockTheRainbow, to show their support of the team’s effort to bring visibility to LGBTQ fans of the sport.
Still, other fans have pointed out the Capitals’ lack of promotion of this year’s Pride Night in the days and weeks leading up to the game, highlighting a further need for publicity and investment in the team’s LGBTQ fans.
The Philadelphia Flyers are set to host the next NHL Pride Night with You Can Play on Wednesday, January 8th for their game against the Capitals.