Capitals clinch berth in 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs on Tom Wilson's game-tying goal

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J.J. Regan
·2 min read
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Capitals clinch berth in 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

The Capitals are officially playoff-bound for the seventh consecutive season. Washington punched its ticket on Thursday by earning a point in their overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the New York Rangers losing in regulation.

The Caps and Penguins are now the first two teams in the East Division to qualify for the playoffs as both clinched it with Thursday's results.

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The Caps trailed 4-3 late in regulation, but a goal from Tom Wilson with just 15 seconds remaining forced overtime and earned the Caps the playoff-clinching point.

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Washington has not missed the playoffs since 2014 and has reached the postseason in 12 of the last 13 seasons.

Now that we know officially that the Caps are in, the question now shifts to who will they play?

The top four in the East has been pretty clear for some time now: Washington, Pittsburgh, New York Islanders and Boston Bruins. The Rangers trail Boston for the fourth and final playoff spot in the division by six points and the Bruins have two games in hand so it's hard to see the Rangers climbing back into this.

With Washington and Pittsburgh deadlocked atop the division, both teams look poised to earn the two top spots meaning the Caps are most likely to play either the Islanders or Bruins in the first round. But there are still games left to play and the standings can still change before then.