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Last season, the Washington Capitals lost to the New York Rangers in Round Two after taking a 3-1 series lead. It was the 10th playoff series the Caps have lost in which they held a two-game lead. According to Sean McIndoe, NHL teams that lead a series 3-1 go on to win over 90 percent of the time. But not our dear Capitals.

With all that painful history, the Washington Post Express did something extraordinary on their cover this morning. With the headline “Ain’t Afraid Of No Ghosts,” Caps stars Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, and Braden Holtby are ghostbusters trying to vanquish the franchise’s past scars.

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Tuesday, EA Sports released their annual playoff simulation. And boy do I have some news: the video game engine predicted the Caps would win the Stanley Cup.

Really.

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Photo: @WashCaps

Yahoo Sports just leaked the schedule for the first round of the playoffs. The Capitals/Flyers series begins Thursday night at 7:00 PM at Verizon Center. Game 2 is another 7:00 PM start on Saturday, with the Caps busing up to Philadelphia Monday and Wednesday.

For some reason, the NHL has marked games five through seven as “if needed,” but this is the Washington Capitals. They’re gonna be needed.

More details under the jump.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

The Washington Capitals came home after a weekend on the road to face the New York Islanders on Tuesday. As one of the last three home games before the end of the regular season, the final score was not what the Caps hopeful expected after gaining a 3-1 lead midway through the third period. Even with an unfortunate overtime loss, fans at Verizon Center at least got to experience a little bit of everything in the game. The Caps notched a few goals with sirens blaring, and Michael Latta put on a show in his fist fight with Scott Mayfield early in the game.

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No. 55: Capitals Set New Franchise Record For Wins

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In a season full of record-shattering hockey, the Caps have shattered another record. With their 4-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche, the Caps have set a new franchise record for wins with 55. The Caps, whose record is 55-16-6, still have five games remaining in the season. They have 116 points. That is ridiculous.

Excuse me while I…

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Gr8est: The Caps Have Won the Presidents’ Trophy

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Photo: Drew Hallowell

The Washington Capitals have won the Presidents’ Trophy. That’s the one you get when you get more regular-season standings points than any other team. The regular season still has two weeks left, but nobody can catch the Capitals at this point. The Caps will have have home ice during the entirety of the playoffs.

It’s totally bonkers.

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[Clears throat. Does best sales voice.]

Hey, Caps fan. Your favorite team just won the 2016 Metropolitan Division Championship. What’s the best way to celebrate this Very Important Accomplishment? By voting with your wallet for your favorite team and purchasing Shop.NHL.com’s official 2016 Metropolitan Division Championship merch from Reebok and ’47 Brand.

Wear the $29.99 shirt that the players didn’t actually wear after the game and show your fellow Caps friends that attendance banners and the regular season matter to you. The potential go-to shirt in your wardrobe (which has a 93% chance of symbolizing all the pain you will feel from this season’s playoff disappointment), this official NHL tee has stunning typography, which elegantly fits into a templated graphic that didn’t really consider that there are 12 letters in the word Metropolitan.

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A week ago the Caps clinched a playoff spot when they took the Carolina Hurricanes to overtime (and later won with an Alex Ovechkin OTGWG). Now, with their 4-2 victory over the Senators, the Caps have not only clinched the Metropolitan Division title, they’ve also clinched East’s number one seed in the playoffs as well.

Excuse me while I…

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It’s never fun to watch the Caps lose — especially when it’s a 6-2 drubbing at the hands of the Pittsburgh Penguins on national television. The Caps came out hard, but could not handle the Pens’ speed, falling behind two goals in the game’s first ten minutes. The Pens would pull away later in the second and third period, scoring four unanswered goals.

The Caps gave up five even-strength goals. Dmitry Orlov and Brooks Orpik were on the ice for four of the Pens’ six tallies.

“We got exactly what we deserved tonight,” Barry Trotz said after the game.

“I’m not going to let guys off the hook,” Trotz continued. “There’s no excuse for the sloppy play and the lack of execution when the heat was on. We had some guys who were not strong tonight. You can’t do that against a team that’s trending well. They’re probably the hottest team [in the NHL].”

Let’s take a look at the Pens six goals and see what patterns we find.

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Photos: Amanda Bowen

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

On Tuesday, the Washington Capitals returned to Verizon Center after ten consecutive days on the road. And they looked different. During warm-ups, the Caps wore bright green, holiday-inspired jerseys (which may or may not have clashed badly with their blue hockey pants). The typically plain green shamrock sweater design included a new design feature: plaid patterns up and down the sleeves.

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