Washington Capitals to play Columbus Blue Jackets in first round of NHL Playoffs

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 12: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates his team's victory over the Carolina Hurricanes following a goal scored by Jay Beagle with 1.3 seconds left in an NHL game on January 12, 2018 at PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)

WASHINGTON– The Capitals will begin their Stanley Cup quest against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round of the NHL Playoffs.

The Capitals finished third in the conference with 105 points in the regular season, and are seeking to make a deeper playoff run after failing to reach the Conference Finals in each of the past three seasons.

The team announced the schedule of its playoff series on social media on Sunday:

Led by F Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals are hoping that their star can lead them on a Stanley Cup run.

Ovechkin has 90 points in 97 career playoff games, but has seen his production tumble in the past three seasons, registering a -4 plus-minus rating and adding only 29 points in 39 games.