Washington Capitals will face Florida in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs

For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Capitals will face the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

For the first time in franchise history, the Washington Capitals will face the Florida Panthers in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

A first-round match was confirmed Friday, as the Capitals finished the regular season in second place in the Eastern District after losing 3-2 to the New York Rangers.



The Panthers are the #1 seed in the East and finished with the best overall record for ice hockey.

The first round series begins Tuesday at the FLA Live Arena in Florida.

The entire series schedule is listed below.

Tuesday May 3, 7:30 p.m.: Capitals @ leopards

Thursday May 5, 7:30 p.m.: Capitals @ leopards

Saturday 7 May at 1 pm: Panthers @ Capitals

Monday May 9 at 7 pm: Panthers @ Capitals

* Wednesday, May 11, TBD: Capitals @ leopards

* Friday, May 13, TBD: Panthers @ Capitals

*Sunday, May 15, TBD: Capitals @ leopards

(*if necessary)

“We know their capabilities and the kind of season they’ve been through, and it’s going to be a great test for us,” defender John Carlson told reporters after the regular season final in New York. “We’re excited to be back in position to play in the Stanley Cup. That’s the first step and that’s where our focus is now – our excitement and our focus shifts to that first game now.”

The Capitals, who have had the best road record in the NHL this season, will start post-season as a lower seed on the road for the first time since 2012 and only for the second time in 14 playoffs in the Alex Ovechkin era. Washington reached the finish line of the regular season, losing three consecutive organizing games and losing four consecutive games (0-3-1).

“It’s definitely going to be new for us,” said veteran striker Lars Eller. “I think we’ve always been better on the road anyway, and I think history shows that in qualifying, whether at home or abroad, it really doesn’t matter.”

Ovechkin missed the last three games of the regular season due to an upper body injury. But the team hopes to return to Game 1 in Florida. Ovechkin has never missed a playoff in his career.

On their way to winning the Presidents Cup for the first time in the team’s history, the Panthers scored a best 4.15 league goals in every game.

Led by a quartet of top scorers with 30 goals – Alexander Barkoff (39), Sam Reinhart (33), Anthony Dockler (31) and Jonathan Huberdeau (30g)) – the Panthers are the highest-grossing NHL scorers since 1995-96 Pittsburgh Penguins. The 1995-1996 campaign was, coincidentally, the last time the Panthers won a playoff series; Longest active dehydration in the NHL.

Despite suffering a 10-2 loss at the end of the regular season Friday in Montreal, the Panthers went 14-3-0 at a stretch, most notably a franchise-best 13-game winning streak.

The capital team won 1-1-1 against Florida this season, with all three games played in November. Florida won its most recent meeting on November 30, rebounding from its 4-1 third-period deficit to win 5-4 in regulation. The Panthers led the NHL with 11 wins after falling back in the second break.

“They’re a very fast team,” Eller said. “A lot of power up front, a lot of scoring ability. It’s going to be fun. They’re the best team in the league this year so it’s a big challenge for us, but I think our team can play a lot of [styles]Whatever game is offered [to us]We can adapt and we can be successful.”

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