1. In case you hadn't heard, the Caps are advancing to the second round of the playoffs, where they'll face... well, you know who they'll face. This is the fifth time in the last eight seasons that the Caps have won their first-round series, which is tied for the most in the League with Boston, Pittsburgh and Chicago (who could break that tie with a win tonight).
And if you're wondering about messaging...
When asked what he remembers about second-round loss to Penguins in '09 Ovechkin said: "Nothing.'— Joe McDonald (@ESPNJoeyMac) April 24, 2016
2. Braden Holtby went 4-2 in the series while posting two shutouts, a 0.84 goals against average and a .968 save percentage, as he stopped 149 of the 154 shots he faced in just under 358 minutes of work. And when that happens, this happens:
Barry Trotz on Braden Holtby is pic.twitter.com/HVZlZtkuEu— Saam Bozorgmehr (@DJ_SAAM) April 24, 2016
Oh, and he also produced as much offense in the series as Claude Giroux - a single power-play assist.
3. Holtby was probably the Caps' best player in the first round... though there are some that might disagree:
The case for Backstrom is strong - he led the team in scoring (two goals, five assists) and scored the series-winning goal yesterday on a terrific finish. He did something else noteworthy, as well:
Barry Trotz: "I thought (Nicklas Backstrom) really elevated his game" against #Flyers center Claude Giroux.— Brian McNally (@bmcnally14) April 24, 2016
Also, that's two years in a row that Backstrom has totally outclassed an allegedly better Metro center in Round 1, Tavares now Giroux.— Japers' Rink (@JapersRink) April 24, 2016
Now he'll have the opportunity to face the two best centers in the Division in perhaps his toughest match-ups yet. He'll be ready.