If you’re superstitious, there are at least a couple ways to look at the upcoming second-round Stanley Cup playoff series between the Penguins and Capitals.
On one hand, the Penguins have never won a championship without going through Washington first. That trend, of course, includes the past two seasons, which saw Pittsburgh raise the fourth and fifth Cups in franchise history.
On the other hand, with the Penguins having claimed nine of the previous 10 playoff matchups against the Capitals, isn’t it just a matter of time before it swings the other way?
Just the Facts, Ma’am:
• Washington clinched its fourth consecutive trip to the second round with a 6-3 victory Monday night in Columbus, Ohio. The Capitals rallied to win four straight games after losing the first two at home to the Blue Jackets, both in overtime.
• The Penguins and Capitals have played four times in the careers of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, both of whom are in their 13th seasons. The Penguins won in seven games in 2009 and 2017 and in six games in 2016.
• The Capitals’ lone series win in the history of this rivalry occurred in 1994, marking the third time in four years the former Patrick Division rivals faced off in the spring. Now, with the divisional format returning to the playoffs, we’re seeing a rekindling of the feud.
• With Ovechkin leading the way, Washington has won its first-round series eight times in 11 tries, but the team has never advanced to the Eastern Conference final in the ‘Rock the Red’ era. The closest the Capitals have gotten? Try 2015, when they lose a Game 7 overtime to the Rangers.
• In the regular season, the teams split four games down the middle, with each team winning once in the other’s home arena. This series will start at Capital One Arena in Washington later this week, likely either Thursday or Saturday.
Keep it right here on Pittsburgh Hockey Now for coverage throughout what’s sure to be another springtime epic between the Pens and Caps!