Monday, August 10, 2020

The Washington Capitals drew the New York Islanders for the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs following the qualifying round and the seeding round-robin that finished up Sunday.

That means the 12 Capitals players left over from the 2018 Stanley Cup champion team will have a familiar foe on the opposite bench: their former coach, Barry Trotz.

The Capitals will be the No. 3 seed in these unique playoffs, and the No. 7 Islanders were the second-highest seed to advance from the Eastern Conference qualifiers, which created the matchup.

With the Wizards floundering in the NBA bubble and the Nationals unable to get a game in without a calamity with their field tarp, it’s a perfect time to jump onto the Capitals’ bandwagon. Here’s what you need to know.

Schedule and TV channels:

Game 1: Wednesday, Aug. 12, 3 p.m., NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Network

Game 2: Friday, Aug. 14, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Network

Game 3: Sunday, Aug. 16, 12 p.m., NBC Sports Washington, USA Network

Game 4: Tuesday, Aug. 18, 8 p.m., NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Network

Game 5 (if needed): Thursday, Aug. 20, time TBD, NBC Sports Washington

Game 6 (if needed): Saturday, Aug. 22, time TBD

Game 7 (if needed): Sunday, Aug. 23, time TBD

Season series:

The Capitals and Islanders, Metropolitan Division rivals, split their 2019-20 season series 2-2, with the road team winning every game. The series is 4-4 dating back to when Trotz took over New York.

What to watch for:

  • Capitals coach Todd Reirden faces his old boss, Trotz, in the playoffs for the first time. “It’s something that’ll be obviously a great matchup for the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders. It’s not Barry Trotz vs. Todd Reirden or any of those type of things,” Reirden said.

  • Alex Ovechkin has yet to score a point in a meaningful game in the bubble. While he did pot two goals in Washington’s exhibition game against Carolina, he did not make it onto the score sheet in any of the three round-robin games.

  • The Capitals might have to start the series off without center Lars Eller, who is following quarantine protocols after leaving and re-entering the bubble to be with his wife for the birth of their second child. Defenseman John Carlson, who practiced last week but sat out all three round-robin games to nurse an undisclosed injury, could play; Reirden said he was “hopeful.”

Other playoff matchups:

Eastern Conference: No. 1 Philadelphia Flyers vs. No. 12 Montreal Canadiens

No. 2 Tampa Bay Lightning vs. No. 9 Columbus Blue Jackets

No. 4 Boston Bruins vs. No. 5 Carolina Hurricanes

Western Conference: No. 1 Vegas Golden Knights vs. No. 12 Chicago Blackhawks

No. 2 Colorado Avalanche vs. No. 11 Arizona Coyotes

No. 3 Dallas Stars vs. No. 8 Calgary Flames

No. 4 St. Louis Blues vs. No. 7 Vancouver Canucks

• Washington Times Staff can be reached at 125910@example.com.

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