Washington Capitals are a professional ice hockey team based in Washington, D.C. They are members of the Southeast Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). They play in the Verizon Center in Washington's Chinatown neighborhood. Since their founding in 1974, "The Caps" have not won the Stanley Cup, but have won their division title five times, and the conference championship once.

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The 2008–09 Washington Capitals season is the team’s 34th in the National Hockey League. The Capitals finished the regular season with a record of 50-24-8 and a team record 108 points, and they won their second consecutive Southeast Division championship. They defeated the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs 4 games to 3, overcoming a 3-1 deficit. The Capitals were then defeated by the eventual champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference semi-finals in seven games.

The Washington Capitals won the Southeast Division and qualified for the playoffs for the second straight season. The Capitals entered the 2009 NHL Playoffs as the second seed and defeated the New York Rangers in the 1st round 4 games to 3. The Capitals Lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2nd round 4 games to 3.