Captain Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals have been eliminated early in the NHL playoffs four years in a row. Expectations this year are low for seventh-seeded Washington, which opens its Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Boston on Thursday. (The Washington Times/Andrew Harnik)

Captain Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals have been eliminated early in the NHL playoffs four years in a row. Expectations this year are low for seventh-seeded Washington, which opens its Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against Boston on Thursday. (The Washington Times/Andrew Harnik)