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“I expect a pretty intense series. If anything prior to this is any indication, that’s pretty fair to say,” Crosby said. “Those are the kind of series you want to be a part of.”

The champion Bruins again won the Northeast, but did not get an easy draw. Alex Ovechkin, who finished with 38 goals, rallied the Capitals from a dismal start and almost stole the Southeast from Florida.

“We had ups and downs, but now we start that new season that everybody gets excited about,” Boston coach Claude Julien said. “And we’ve got as good a chance as anybody else to win.”