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Caps slated as second-round opponents

IF the Rangers beat the Senators Thursday in Game 7 -- and that remains a big IF heading into the series finale at Madison Square Garden -- their second-round opponent is set.

With Washington's upset over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins in Wednesday night's overtime thriller, the Capitals are slated to face the Rangers in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Those hoping for a potential Rangers-Devils match-up in the second round?

Can't happen.

If both local teams advance, New Jersey will meet Philadelphia in the second round. If the Rangers lose and the Devils beat the Panthers in Florida Thursday, New Jersey will face the Capitals.

For a peek into Washington's post-game euphoria last night, ESPN.com's Scott Burnside discovers what the mood is like for a team that has finally exceeded expectations after perpetually falling short.