- - Thursday, April 26, 2018

The day has come for a time-honored Washington Capitals tradition.

For the third straight year, the Capitals will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In 2016 and 2017, the Penguins knocked the Capitals out of the playoffs and went on to win the Stanley Cup.

This year, Washington is not the Presidents’ Trophy winner, but still has home-ice advantage. The Capitals host Game 1 on Thursday, so here’s everything you need to know as D.C. sports fans charge head-first into some serious deja vu.

Opponent: Pittsburgh Penguins

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

Date and Time: Thursday, April 26, 7 p.m.

TV Channel: NBC Sports Network

Radio: FAN 106.7

Pregame Reading:

Capitals‘ newest players prepare for first taste of playoff Penguins, by Adam Zielonka

Holtby must keep hot hand if this really is the Capitals’ year, by Thom Loverro

Capitals vs. Penguins: Full schedule for second-round series announced, by Adam Zielonka

Andre Burakovsky ‘week to week’ for Capitals entering Penguins series, by Adam Zielonka

It’s never too early to ask the Capitals about the Pittsburgh Penguins, by Adam Zielonka

Ovechkin, Capitals dominate Game 6 to win series with Blue Jackets, by Adam Zielonka

What to watch for: The Penguins will be without top-six forwards Evgeni Malkin and Carl Hagelin for Game 1 due to injuries they suffered in the first round against Philadelphia. Hagelin did not travel to Washington with the team, but Malkin did. Malkin also skated with the team before Game 1, leaving the door open for him to play in Sunday’s Game 2. … Pittsburgh has won nine straight playoff series dating back to 2016, never trailing by more than one game. The Capitals, who just came back from an 0-2 deficit against Columbus in round one, have gone 3-4 in their last seven home postseason games against the Penguins.

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