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NHL Playoff Picture: Caps Will Face Rangers In First Round

The Washington Capitals and New York Rangers will meet in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the second time in three years.

Entering Saturday, the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference had yet to be set. The New York Rangers and Carolina Hurricanes each had a game to decide who would make it and who would watch it. The Rangers started the day with a big 5-2 victory over the New Jersey Devils, but did not control their destiny. If the Hurricanes defeated the Tampa Bay Ligntning, Carolina would make it. Yet, that didn't happen as the Lightning dominated throughout in a 6-2 win.

The Caps and Rangers last met in 2009. The seventh-seeded Rangers would jump out to a 3-1 series lead, but the Caps would win three straight to defeat them in seven games. The Caps would eventually lose in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins.

Washington and New York have met in the playoffs five times before (1986, 1990, 1991, 1994, 2009) with the Caps winning three of them.