ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) - Every year, the Washington Capitals enter the playoffs saying they've learned their lessons from the previous year's debacle. This year is no exception.
The top-seeded Capitals open the postseason Wednesday against the eighth-seeded New York Rangers.
Last year, Washington became first the No. 1 seed to be eliminated by a No. 8 after holding a 3-1 series lead. Several players afterward said the team was guilty of relying on regular season intensity instead of turning things up a notch for the playoffs.
Veteran Mike Knuble said last year's experience makes "you realize you're not as good as you think you are." He says the Capitals had the "whole summer to digest the fact that you've got to come up with more" at playoff time.