- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2012

If familiarity in the Stanley Cup Playoffs breeds contempt, bring on the Washington Capitals vs. the New York Rangers.

For the third time in four seasons, the Caps and Rangers will meet in the postseason, this time in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

The Caps knew they’d be moving on after Wednesday’s thrilling Game 7 overtime victory at the Boston Bruins, but their style of hockey fits no matter the opponent.

“I think you’ve got to keep playing the way we’ve been playing,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “We’re playing good defensively, I think, and we’re blocking shots. We’ve got to keep doing that. If everybody’s playing the same way like we’ve been doing, I think we have a good chance to advance.”

The Caps advanced past the Rangers in each of the past two spring matchups. They won a seven-game series coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the first round in 2009 and a five-game series last season, as Michal Neuvirth stifled New York.

This will be the first second-round meeting between these two teams during this stretch. It will also be the first time the Rangers have home-ice advantage. The series wil start 3 p.m. Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

The teams spit the regular-season series 2-2.

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