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The Noon Number: Welcome to the Party

A look at some unfamiliar familiar foes

NHL: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

3 - Number of consecutive years in which the Capitals have opened the postseason against a team they’ve never faced in the playoffs. In 2017 they got their first playoff look at the Toronto Maple Leafs, followed by a first-time meeting against the Columbus Blue Jackets last year.

This year, of course, it’ll be the Carolina Hurricanes, who make their return to the playoffs after a ten-year hiatus and who have yet to face their longtime division rivals in postseason action.

This recent infusion of new blood makes for a nice change from what had been a fairly steady diet of the same teams for a long time. The Caps have appeared in 47 playoff series since their first venture into the postseason back in 1983; of those 47 series, 32 of them have been against the Penguins (11), Rangers (9), Islanders (7) or Flyers (5).