When the NHL Playoffs begin on March 13th, it is the second consecutive season the NHL has played a one-game playoff series.
The last time this happened was in 1995 when the New Jersey Devils defeated the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference Final.
This time around, the Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals will host the New York Islanders in the first-ever series between the two teams.
The Capitals and Islanders will face off in the series opener on March 12th at the Washington Capitals practice rink in Ashburn, Virginia.
The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network, the team announced.
The first round of the NHL playoffs will take place on March 14th at Nassau Coliseum in New York.
The Capitals will face the Islanders in their home opener on Saturday, March 16th at 7:30pm.
The Islanders have won the Presidents’ Trophy in three of the past four years, but they are in a tailspin of late, having lost three of their past five games and being eliminated from the postseason for the first time since 2009.
The Islanders have not won a playoff series since they defeated the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 6 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Finals.
Last year, the Islanders were the top seed in the West and were considered a lock to repeat as Presidents’ Cup champions, but a series of injuries, a playoff spot and the return of the reigning Conn Smythe winner Jaromir Jagr led to the franchise’s demise.
They were eliminated from playoff contention by the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Final and went on to lose the first two games of the conference finals to the Los Angeles Kings.
This year, they are hoping to be in the running for the Stanley Cups again, but it will be a long and arduous road.
With the Capitals looking to return to the postseason, the franchise has decided to focus on winning back-to-back Stanley Cup championships for the third consecutive season.
The team has already clinched the Presidents Cup for the second time in franchise history, but there are still plenty of games to be played in the postseason.
The season will start on March 1st, and the Capitals are expected to play their final game of the regular season on April 4th against the Pittsburgh Penguins.