- - Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Washington Capitals have been itching to get back on the ice for the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Four days have passed since their regular season finale, and Thursday is finally the day the puck will drop on their latest postseason campaign.

The Capitals host the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round. Here is everything you need to know about how to tune in and what to watch for.

Opponent: Columbus Blue Jackets (45-30-7, 97 points)

Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

Date and Time: Thursday, April 12, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: NBC Sports Washington; USA Network

Radio: 99.1 FM

Pregame Reading: 

Barry Trotz’ future likely tied to Capitals playoff performance, by Matthew Paras

Capitals’ goalie problem seems like the kind you want, by Deron Snyder

Capitals will need to contain Werenski-Jones pairing in first round, by Adam Zielonka

No motivational speeches needed after past playoff failures, by Thom Loverro

Capitals’ playoff hopes could start with Philipp Grubauer, by Matthew Paras

5 reasons Washington Capitals fans should have hope this postseason, by Adam Zielonka

4 reasons Washington Capitals fans should NOT be hopeful this postseason, by Adam Zielonka

What to watch for: The Capitals won three of their four games against Columbus during the regular season. … John Carlson led Washington with five points in those four games (two goals and three assists). … Alex Ovechkin led the NHL with 49 goals and won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy at age 32, only the second player to do so at that age or older. … Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky set a career high in saves this season (1,835), but also had a career high in the metric “really bad starts” (10), or starts with a save percentage under 85 percent.

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