Playoff matchup set: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers

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If Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are going to exorcise their playoff demons, why not get the ball rolling where it all started?

A very different Philadelphia Flyers team edged Ovechkin and the Capitals in a seven-game series back in 2008. Now we’ll get another matchup between two teams in very different situations.

On the Caps’ side, they’ve left some a little concerned about a slow finish … but then again, they had so much clinched, it’s kind of tough to beat them up too for meandering. Ultimately, Washington stands as the favorite with the Presidents’ Trophy, and thus home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, in hand.

The Flyers, meanwhile, have been fighting tooth-and-nail for quite some time to earn an improbable playoff spot.

They just clinched their playoff spot, and now they loom as a fascinating, scrappy opponent for Washington.

It should be a lot of fun: Alex Ovechkin vs. Claude Giroux, Braden Holtby vs. Steve Mason and much more. It’s OK to get excited.

Also set: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Detroit Red Wings