The Washington Capitals wrapped up their series against the New York Rangers on Saturday, and they still do not know who they will play in the second round of the 2011 NHL Playoffs. We will find out the answer for sure on Wednesday, when the rest of the first round will be decided.
We do know for sure that it will not be the Buffalo Sabres. The No. 7 seed blew a 3-2 series lead against the Philadelphia Flyers, losing Game 7, 5-2, on Tuesday. The Sabres would have automatically faced the Capitals had they won because of the NHL's policy of re-seeding for the second round.
Instead, the Capitals' opponent will depend on a pair of Game 7s on Wednesday. The Montreal Canadiens, the No. 6 seed, won Game 6 against the No. 3 seeded Boston Bruins on Tuesday, sending the series back to Beantown. If the Canadiens win, they will face the Capitals for a second straight season. We all know what happened last year.
If the Bruins win? Then, the Capitals will face the winner of the Game 7 between the No. 4 seed Pittsburgh Penguins and No. 5 seed Tampa Bay Lightning. Both of those matchups offer a ton of intrigue, as does a series against Montreal. We'll find out the answer for sure Wednesday.