The Washington Times - April 7, 2012, 09:57PM

NEW YORK | Following the Washington Capitals’ convincing victory over the New York Rangers that ensured they wouldn’t be coming back to Madison Square Garden for the first round of the playoffs, coach Dale Hunter didn’t want to address the possibility of facing the Boston Bruins.

At the time the Florida Panthers weren’t done beating the Carolina Hurricanes to clinch the Southeast Division title.


I don’t want to say anything until it’s definite,” Hunter said.

Now it is definite: The Caps will be the seventh seed and face the defending Stanley Cup-champion Bruins in the first round, starting Thursday at TD Garden.

“They’ve got a lot of playoff experience with a Cup last year,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “They play tough in the playoffs and everyone will tell you when you get into the playoffs it’s a completely different game and tonight was a good step forward.”

Brouwer was referring to the Caps’ 4-1 win over the Rangers, which gives them some serious momentum going into the playoffs. Washington won three of its four meetings with Boston this season, including both on the road.