The Washington Capitals will head to the beach to start their 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff run, as they will face the Florida Panthers in the first round of the postseason.
Washington fell 3-2 to the New York Rangers in their regular-season finale on Friday, while the Pittsburgh Penguins topped the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3. This resulted in the Capitals staying in the second Wild Card spot and having to face the top-seeded Panthers.
Florida finished with a league-best record of 58-18-6 to clinch the Presidents’ Trophy and have home-ice advantage for the entirety of its playoff run. Meanwhile, Washington (44-26-12) enters as an underdog looking to make it past the first round for the first time since its Stanley Cup run back in 2018.
READ MORE ON WHN: Ovechkin Shares Injury Update
The Capitals will also look to captain Alex Ovechkin to return from an upper-body injury. Washington dropped its final three games of the season with Ovechkin on the shelf. He is still day-to-day. Nicklas Backstrom also sat out on Friday but took a maintenance day.
In their season series, the Panthers won two of three games against the Capitals in 2021-22. All of those games came back in November.