The Capitals begin their Stanley Cup defense on Thursday, hosting the Carolina Hurricanes. Over the course of the regular season, the Capitals swept the Hurricanes 4-0, with one of the wins coming in overtime. The Caps will look for a similar result in the playoffs.
Carolina started the season cold, but heated up down the stretch, with a 22-9-1 record since the All-Star Break. They’ve done so thanks to the improved goaltending tandem of Curtis McElhinney and Petr Mrazek, first-time All-Star Sebastian Aho, and the acquisition of Nino Niederreiter at the trade deadline.