Spirits are high and fans will be out in force as the top-seeded Capitals host the New York Rangers for game one of their first-round series.
The Caps won 16 of their last 20 games in the regular season to wind up atop the NHL's Eastern Conference. The Rangers are seeded eighth.
The Capitals are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's round one -- they were the number-one seed then too but blew a 3-1 series lead and were bounced in game seven by the Montreal Canadiens. Analysts say defense and strong goaltending will be keys for the Caps this time around.