Capitals vs. Leafs preview

Washington Capitals (55-19-8, first, Metro Division) vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (47-20-15, second wild card in the Eastern Conference)

CapitalsMaple Leafs

Why you have to watch: Alex Ovechkin vs. Auston Matthews: The best scorer of his generation against the rookie with the most goals since Ovechkin. That is the matchup to watch. … The Washington Capitals earned their second straight Presidents’ Trophy as the NHL’s top regular season team. Unlike last season, though, they got some pushback from the Columbus Blue Jackets and Pittsburgh Penguins before pulling away down the stretch. Probably a good thing. … One carryover from last season is the Caps are dominant on both sides of the puck, ranking second in goals per game, first in goals against per game, third on the power play and sixth on the penalty kill. … The Caps got the best player available at the trade deadline in defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. They’re loaded. Again. … The Caps have failed to advance beyond the second round since captain Ovechkin debuted in 2005-06 and they collectively know if they don’t get it done this spring, there will be significant changes. … The Leafs are an exciting team, led by 2016 first-overall draft pick Matthews, whose 40-goal season has him set for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. … This is just the second trip to the postseason for the Leafs since the 2004-05 lockout.

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