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For the first time since '09 it's Penguins and Capitals in the playoffs

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We now know the Pittsburgh Penguins second round opponent in the 2016 NHL playoffs.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

By virtue of a 1-0 win today over the Flyers, the Washington Capitals punched their ticket to the 2nd round of the playoffs where they will meet the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It's going to be quite the series. Instantly the 2009 2nd round playoff series will be brought to mind where the Pens clinched a dramatic back-and-forth series with a blowout Game 7 in in Washington. You will also hear how this the latest major clash between Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin . It's more than that, of course.

The Capitals were by far the best team in the league this regular season, running away with the best record and clinching all the major team standards (division, conference, league best record and all home ice) before the spring thaw even came around.

The Penguins, on the flip-side, are the league's best team since Mike Sullivan took over in December, and were one team that actually defeated the Caps in the regular season series (Pens going 3-2-0 in 5 matchups).

We'll have to wait for all the other league first round series to end before the next ones start, so we're looking at a bit more time between games, but at least the Pens now know which rival they will see next. As you'd expect, we'll have lots of previews and pieces here in the coming days to get everyone up to speed on all the ins and outs of what the road ahead will have in store.