Practice Makes Playoffs in Arlington

Published on April 25, 2016

When it comes to the NHL playoffs, folks who live or work in Arlington have a home-ice advantage.

On Tuesday, April 26, beginning at 10:30 a.m., fans can watch -- for free -— the Washington Capitals hold their first practice at Ballston's Kettler Capitals Iceplex for their Eastern Conference semifinals with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Check for updates on practices throughout the second-round series at the official Caps Today website.

The Iceplex is the Caps' official training facility and administrative home. Visiting NHL teams also frequently practice there -- and there's never a cost to grab a rink-side seat to see the pros up-close.

Opened in 2006, the Iceplex is owned by Arlington County and leased to the Capitals, which also operates the facility for lessons, club sports and open-skating on the two NHL-size rinks.

The Kettler Capitals Iceplex was the first indoor ice rink inside the Beltway in Virginia and the only one in the metropolitan area adjacent to a Metrorail station. Because of the convenience, many Capitals players, coaches and staff live in Arington, at least during the season.

The Kettler Capitals Iceplex was built as the expansion eighth level of the parking garage at the Ballston Common Mall. The mall is about to undergo a major transformation, becoming Ballston Quarter with added outdoor shopping, plazas and new mixed-use residential and retail space. The IcePlex will not be affected.