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Washington Capitals battle Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of NHL Playoffs

Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) celebrates his goal with left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) against the Calgary Flames during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP File Photo/Molly Riley)

The Washington Capitals will begin their quest for a Stanley Cup Thursday in Game 1 against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL playoffs.

Game 1 kicks off at 7 p.m. at the Verizon Center, and the matchup will mark the first playoff meeting between the teams, according to an Associated Press story.

The Caps learned during their last game of the regular season against the Florida Panthers last Sunday that they'll face the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In anticipation of the playoffs, the Caps sat several starters including Matt Niskanen, defenseman John Carlson, and wingers T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams. Carlson had a lower-body injury, according to the AP.

A playoff practice was held on April 11 and several Caps players shared their thoughts on the matchup with the Maple Leafs.

The team finished the NHL regular season with a 55-19-8 record which was first in the Metropolitan Division, according to ESPN.com.

Center Nicklas Backstrom led the Caps in points (86) and assists (63) and left wing Alex Ovechkin led the club in goals with 33 in the regular season, according to ESPN.com.


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