(1) Capitals vs. (8) Canadiens
Capitals Leading Regular Season Scorer: Alex Ovechkin (right), 109 points (50 goals, 51 assists).
Canadiens Leading Regular Season Scorer: Tomas Plekanec, 70 points (25 goals, 45 assists).
Capitals with Stanley Cup bling: Mike Knuble.
Canadiens with Stanley Cup bling: Hal Gill, Brian Gionta, Scott Gomez (2), Travis Moen.
Something worthwhile about the Capitals: The Capitals had a 13-2-5 record after the Olympic break.
Something worthwhile about the Canadiens: The Canadiens had the NHL's second-best power play this past season at 21.8 percent. The best? Washington at 25.2 percent.
Something useless about the Capitals that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: No team has scored more overtime postseason goals against the Capitals than the Penguins (seven).
Something useless about the Canadiens that is vaguely connected to the Penguins: The last two playoff overtime goals in Canadiens history were each scored by former Penguins. Alex Kovalev and Tom Kostopoulos scored overtime goals in the 2008 postseason.
Former Penguins on the Capitals: Matt Bradley, RW.
Former Penguins on the Canadiens: Hal Gill, D; Dominic Moore, C; Gordie Roberts, pro scout.
Who needs to be the difference for the Capitals: Jose Theodore. The Canadiens were lousy at scoring goals this past season. They only had 210, the 26th-best total in the NHL. But Theodore found a way to make the Rangers' mediocre offense look good in the first round of last year's playoffs. As a result, he was yanked from the Capitals' net before the end of the first game of the first round last season. He needs to get over any jitters he has over playoff hockey and whatever hoopla there might exist over to his return to his own stomping grounds in Montreal.
Who needs to be the difference for the Canadiens: Jaroslav Halak (right). The Capitals are going to score goals. But Halak needs to do whatever he can in order to limit Washington's powerful offense. It won't be easy, but was we saw during his brilliant performance for Slovakia in the Olympics, he's more than capable of shutting down superior teams.
Best Capitals YouTube Video We Could Find: In 35 years of existence, the Capitals most notable postseason moment might be this cheap shot by Capitals forward Dale Hunter on Islanders forward Pierre Turgeon in Game 7 of the 1993 Patrick Division semifinals:
Best Canadiens YouTube Video We Could Find: This French Canadian Miller Lite commercial with Habs legend Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion might be one of our top five bookmarks:
EN Prediction: If the Canadiens can resist the urge to go up and down the ice with the Capitals and if Halak plays the best hockey of his life, the Canadiens have a chance. But those are big ifs. Especially for a team which faded down the stretch. Capitals 4-1.
(Photos: Ovechkin-Justin K. Aller/Getty Images; Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)