NHL.com’s Mark Stepneski reports that the 2017 Stanley Cup champions are in the playoffs for the second straight year and the Pittsburgh Penguins are the defending champions.
The Pittsburgh Penguins won their first playoff series in seven years in the 2017 Eastern Conference finals against the Washington Capitals.
The Penguins swept the series in six games, beating the Capitals 3-0 in the Eastern Conference final.
The Washington Capitals are the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner for the third consecutive year.
The New York Islanders have clinched the Eastern Division title in the last two years.
The Ottawa Senators are in a three-way tie for the Eastern and Western Conference Finals with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Bruins.