The Washington Capitals have their work cut out for them.
Fresh off clinching the No. 7 seed in this year's NHL playoffs, the Caps face off against the No. 2 seed Boston Bruins in the first round.
And while the Caps are the hotter team as of late -- going 10-4-2 down the stretch, compared to Boston's 9-6-1 finish -- it's the Bruins who hold the advantage in the postseason.
As a result, the Caps, despite taking the season series 3-1, are significant underdogs in Las Vegas, which predicts the Caps win the series just 33% of the time.
Washington recently got Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green back from injuries, but it lost No. 1 and No. 2 goalies Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth, who may be out for the entire series.
The good news? Star forward Alexander Ovechkin is playing his best hockey of the season, with 12 goals in his last 16 games. And backup goalie Braden Holtby has been terrific since Vokoun and Neuvirth got injured.
Holtby is 4-1-1 since March 19, allowing just 10 goals in six games and a .936 save percentage.
Opposite him, Bruins goalie Tim Thomas ranks in or around the top 10 among goalies in wins, save percentage, goals allowed per game and shutouts. The Bruins' offense ranks second in the league in goals forced.
But that doesn't scare Ovechkin off. "It doesn't matter which place you are in the [regular] season. In the playoffs, it's a different season. It's different hockey. Every mistake can cost you a series and every mistake can cost you a game. In the playoffs, it's [the] top 16 teams in the league battle for one goal -- the Cup -- so it doesn't matter," he told the media this week.