The 5 Best Washington Capitals of the 1990s

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The 5 Best Washington Capitals of the 1990s
Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

For the Washington Capitals, the 1990s held a bit of everything.

The decade began with the Caps coming off their first-ever trip to the then-Wales Conference Final. The Caps had been swept by the Boston Bruins in that playoff series, but there was hope that after so many playoff failures in the 1980s, perhaps the team was ready to break through.

But in the 1990-91 Patrick Division Final, the Caps would be defeated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in five games. This was the beginning of the Capitals versus Penguins rivalry, a rivalry that has been decidedly one-sided in the Pens' favor.

The Caps would meet the Pens in the playoffs six times during the 1990s, and the Penguins would win five of those matchups. In three of the five series the Caps lost, they blew two-game leads. They also lost a four-overtime game to the Penguins along the way.

In the 1996-97 season, the Caps' run of 14 straight playoff appearances came to a halt.

Not much was expected from the team for the 1997-98 season. But instead, the Caps stunned everyone by making it to their only Stanley Cup Final in team history before they were unceremoniously swept by the defending champion Detroit Red Wings.

The 1990s saw the Capitals have three different head coaches and also saw the team leave the dungeon-like confines of the Capital Centre to the much more modernized Verizon Center.

Not surprisingly, many players came and went for the Capitals during the 1990s. Some were obviously better than others. But along the way, some of the best players in the history of the franchise played during the 1990s.

Which ones were the best? Here is a listing of the top five players for the Washington Capitals during the 1990s.

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