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4hScott Burnside

More on the line this time for Crosby, Ovechkin

After years of battling head-to-head to see who the better player is, Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby enter their second-round matchup with each looking to cement his legacy as a champion.

NHL Playoff preview: Penguins vs. Capitals (1:26)
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1mJohn Buccigross

Tune in, fans: Playoffs and music go together

John Buccigross combines his favorite art forms, hockey and music, into an appreciation of each playoff team. The Red Wings are in Emo mode, while the beat goes on for contenders like the Caps.

Alex Brandon/AP Photo
1dAlexa Dettelbach, ESPN Stats & Information

Penguins-Capitals: A one-sided rivalry resumes

The Penguins have had the postseason edge on the Capitals. Here's the background on the rivalry between the teams and their top stars.

Sharp: Looking forward to playing St. Louis (1:50)
Islanders coach takes puck to the face (0:23)

Second round, Boychuk, Stamkos, Pritchard

The ESPN.com NHL team share their thoughts on second-round playoff matchups, and what could become of the Ducks after another early exit. Plus, we hear from Islanders D Johnny Boychuk, Lightning C Steven Stamkos and "Keeper of the Cup" Phil Pritchard.

Wilson's stellar goal helps Predators win Game 7 (0:34)
Rinne the reason for Predators advancing (1:00)
Tavares' wrister chases Bishop in Islanders' win (0:19)
Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Celebrities who really love hockey

Don't you hate it when work gets in the way of watching the NHL playoffs? Same for these famous fans, who go to great lengths to follow their favorite teams -- all while doing their day jobs.

Conn Smythe Trophy prediction (1:10)
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images
1dCraig Custance

Nine biggest surprises of the first round

The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs saw many surprising star turns (and vice versa). Craig Custance identifies the biggest as Round 2 begins.

Playoff preview: St. Louis Blues vs. Dallas Stars (1:53)
Gregory Shamus/NHLI via Getty Images

Annoying lies and sharp truths of the first round

Stable goaltending is a must-have and the coaches' challenge is a good thing, right? Wrong, and those are just two of the harsh playoff realities we're repeating and expounding on as the opening round winds down.

Twitter pledge backfires on Rangers fan (1:51)
What the Blackhawks need to do to return as contenders (1:35)
Dilip Vishwanat/ Getty Images
2dCraig Custance

Blues end incredible run by Blackhawks

A team that has dominated the playoffs for most of the past six years is heading home, while an old challenger finally gets a chance to test its mettle beyond the first round.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
3dCraig Custance

Three keys to offseason: Chicago Blackhawks

With the Blackhawks eliminated from the playoffs, what should they do this offseason to get back on track? Craig Custance identifies the keys.

Inside the NHL: Juggernauts collide, playoff preview (10:13)


Jim Witalka ESPN Producer 

Everyone in attendance for game 1 between Caps and Pens got a red flashing glow stick. Makes the crowd look like a late 80s video game

Scott Burnside @ESPN_Burnside

As expected both Karl Alzner and Brooks Orpik in the Washington lineup for Game 1. Pens with same lineup that dusted Rangers last Saturday.

Corey Pronman @coreypronman

Crap I did not know the draft is today I'm woefully unprepared. Ummmmm I project ... Auston Matthews will go 1st overall to... Los Angeles?

Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols

TV viewing tonight: One eye on the NFL Draft. One eye on Capitals-Penguins. One eye on Hawks-Celtics. Hmm. May need to borrow someone's eye.

Jim Witalka ESPN Producer 

2 hours before puck drops, a couple of Caps have been out early to check out the ice and perhaps work off a little nervous energy