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Caps' big guns hand Devils their first loss

Caps' big guns hand Devils their first loss

You would think the Devils would own Friday the 13th, but it was the Capitals who walked away victorious with the 5-2 win in New Jersey.

How it happened

The Caps' big guns all came to play on Friday as Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin all had big games. A steal by Backstrom at the blue line set up Oshie for the first period goal. Ovechkin and Taylor Hall traded power play goals in the second, but Jakub Vrana's first goal of the season gave Washington the two-goal lead heading into the third period.

Kyle Palmieri pulled New Jersey within one just 53 seconds into the final frame, but Oshie and Backstrom each padded the Caps' lead with two more power play goals.

What it means

The Capitals snapped a hot start for the Devils who were 3-0-0 heading into this game. It also snapped a two-game slide for Washington.

A pregame scare

Caps fans got a scare before the game. Just a few minutes before the puck dropped, news broke that Nicklas Backstrom was a late scratch. That turned out to be a mistake with the game sheet, however, as Backstrom did play. It's a good thing he did as he ended up having a huge game with one goal and three assists.

Wilson’s return

Tom Wilson returned to the lineup after serving a four-game suspension to start the season. He looked like the old Wilson as he drew an interference call from Dalton Prout in the first period. He also dropped the gloves with Blake Coleman in the third period in a fight that could only be described as "one-sided."

A hot start

With his second period goal, Ovechkin now has nine in five games to start the season. In 2007-08, when he set his career-high of 65 goals, Ovechkin had only three tallies through the first five games.

A costly injury

Matt Niskanen left the game in the second period after taking a slash from Devils defenseman Jimmy Hayes. The team announced he would not return labeling the issue as "upper body."

There's a first time for everything

Andre Burakovsky took issue with a hit from Coleman on Dmitry Orlov that sent the Caps' defenseman feet first hard into the boards. Burakovsky decided to take matters into his own hands and dropped the gloves for his first career NHL fight. The last time Burakovsky fought in a hockey game was March 2014 in the OHL.

What’s ahead

It’s a quick turnaround for the Caps as they head to Philadelphia for a Saturday night matchup with the Flyers. Then it’s back to Washington as they will host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.

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How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

How the Caps won their first round series against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Things did not look good for the Capitals after two games.

Facing a 0-2 series hole after losing both games in Washington, it looked like it could be an early summer. The Caps were going to be the first team to ever lose a series in the playoffs to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

HOW DID THE CAPS WIN THEIR SERIES AGAINST COLUMBUS? FIND OUT HERE

But the Caps rallied.

Washington won the next four games and turned what looked like it would be another postseason disaster into a postseason triumph.

Only once in franchise history had the Caps rallied from a 0-2 deficit and only once had the Caps won four straight games to win a series. They managed both against the Blue Jackets.

Here's how the Caps were able to rally to a first-round victory over Columbus.

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NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins schedule, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs 2018: Capitals vs. Penguins schedule, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Capitals and Penguins face off in the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference semifinals, marking the third consecutive season the two Metro Division rivals have met in the playoffs.

The Capitals have beaten the Penguins in a playoff series just once in ten attempts dating back to 1991, and all five of the Penguins' Stanley Cup Championships included series wins over Washington.

The Capitals and Penguins split the regular-season series 2-2, with both teams picking up wins at home and on the road. The Capitals outscored the Penguins 13-12 over the course of the four regular-season games. 

The Capitals vs. Penguins 2018 NHL Playoff series will begin on Thursday, April 24 at Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. E.T.

Pregame coverage of the Capitals vs. Penguins on NBC Sports Washington begins an hour before puck-drop with Caps FaceOff, followed by Caps GameTime.

Caps Extra follows each playoff game with Caps OverTime after that. 

Stream Pre- and postgame coverage of Capitals vs. Penguins Game 1 on NBC Sports Washington.

Game 2 information has yet to be released.

CAPITALS vs. PENGUINS 2018 NHL PLAYOFF SCHEDULE

Game 1: Penguins at Capitals
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC Sports Network (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 2: Penguins at Capitals
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 3: Capitals at Penguins
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 4: Capitals at Penguins
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Penguins at Capitals
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Capitals at Penguins
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Penn.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)

Game 7 (If necessary): Penguins at Capitals
Date: TBD
Time: TBD
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: TBD (Channel Finder)
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (1500 AM)