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Game 1: Flyers @ Caps

[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

It's finally here. Not just Game 1 of the Caps/Flyers series, but the Caps' "next" playoff game.

1,827 days later, the Caps have another playoff game.

Let that soak in for a second.

Now think back just 141 days ago to November 22, 2007, Thanksgiving Day, a day that started like this and ended like this (with this, of course, in between).

One day later, the team was on its way after an overtime win in Philadelphia.

The Caps, to be sure, aren't "just happy to be here." They know their work is far from done. But considering what they - and we, the fans - have been through over the past five years, no one would find fault with basking in the moment just a little bit.

When the puck drops, however, all of that is forgotten, and the focus is on the task at hand. One period, one game, one series.... one Cup at a time.