The Washington Capitals will play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Second Round after Washington eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 2-1 overtime win on Sunday.
The Capitals will have home-ice advantage in the best-of-7 series as the first place team from the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins finished second in the Metropolitan Division.
Game 1 will be played at Verizon Center on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, SN, TVA Sports 2). Pittsburgh and Washington also met in the second round last season, with the Penguins defeating the Presidents' Trophy winners in six games. The Penguins went on to win the Stanley Cup; the Capitals haven't been to the Eastern Conference Final since 1998.
The Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games in the first round. Evgeni Malkin led the Penguins with 11 points (two goals, nine assists). Phil Kessel had eight points (two goals, five assists), Sidney Crosby had seven points (two goals, five assists), and Jake Guentzel had five goals. Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 181 of 194 shots and had a .933 save percentage.
The Capitals won their first-round series with the Maple Leafs in six games. T.J. Oshie had seven points (three goals, four assists), and Nicklas Backstrom (two goals, four assists) and Justin Williams had six points (three goals, three assists). Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each scored three goals.
The Penguins and Capitals split the season series, each winning two games. But the Capitals went 2-0-2, losing once in a shootout and once in overtime. Backstrom led all skaters with 12 points (four goals, eight assists) against the Penguins. Oshie had 10 points (three goals, seven assists). Williams, Ovechkin, Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller each had three goals. Braden Holtby was 2-0-1 with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage.
Malkin (five goals, one assist) and Justin Schultz (six assists) led the Penguins with six points each against the Capitals. Fleury was 1-1-0 and allowed 11 goals on 95 shots (4.02 GAA, .884 SV%); Matt Murray was 1-1-0 and allowed nine goals on 33 shots (6.74 GAA, .786 SV%).
This will be the 10th time the Penguins and Capitals will face each other in the playoffs. The Penguins have won eight of the previous nine series.