The Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 6-3, in Game 6 to clinch their first-round Stanley Cup Playoff series and advance to the second round.
F Evgeny Kuznetsov led the team to a Game Four win on April 19, adding a goal and three assists in the Capitals 4-1 victory.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Capitals rallied for four consecutive wins to finish off the Blue Jackets. Try 2015, when they lose a Game 7 overtime to the Rangers.
In each of the last two seasons - not to mention in the second round of the 2009 playoffs - the Capitals came into a playoff showdown with the Penguins with a better record in the regular season and a more complete team on paper, only to run into the same championship stumbling block time and time again. "It seems like we nearly like it when an opposing team's crowd gets into it".
Even after being eliminated in each of the past two postseasons by the Penguins, Ovechkin is embracing the challenge.
Once the pre-series hype concludes, the Capitals will be led by Ovechkin, as they have been for more than a decade. "It nearly gets us going, too, and makes you want to quiet them down".
"I can't wait", Ovechkin told reporters after the game.
The Jackets were able to kill off both, and that gave the home team a huge momentum boost and got the home crowd back into the game.
Shortly after Holtby held off a Columbus barrage, Orlov got his first goal of the series when he skated into the slot and rifled a slap shot over Bobrovsky's glove side with 7:48 left in the first.
The Blue Jackets fired back in the second period by killing a Washington 5-on-3 opportunity and arranging a Foligno wrist shot. The Blue Jackets were 0 for 16 on power plays going back to overtime in Game 2.
Foligno would give Columbus a little life as he got his second of the game with an easy tap-in past Holtby nearly nine minutes into the third period.
Soon enough, a three-goal lead was presented up on the scoreboard in favor of Washington as Chandler Stephenson went five-hole on Bobrovsky.