Second-round preview: Penguins vs. Capitals

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Washington Capitals (55-19-8, first, Metropolitan Division) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (50-20-11, second, Metropolitan Division)

Blue Jackets

Why you have to watch: Where to start? First of all, it’s the two best teams in the NHL from the regular season. In a parallel universe where the NHL isn’t using a broken playoff system, this is the conference finals. … Yes, it’s Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin. That’s always compelling. But the matchup to watch will be Crosby vs. Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom has historically played Crosby tough. … Each Penguins Stanley Cup run has gone through the Capitals. So, if the Penguins are going to repeat, this series is a prerequisite. … As for the Capitals, what better way to prove this year is different than by beating the Penguins in Round 2? … The winner of this series is likely going to be the Eastern Conference team in the Stanley Cup finals and it also adds a chapter in the legacy of two of the greatest players of their generation.



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