St. Louis Blues' Vladimir Tarasenko, of Russian Federation, celebrates while seated on the ice, after Joel Edmundson, left, scored the winning goal in overtime against Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk in Game 1 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.
Washington Capitals right wing Justin Williams (14) scores against Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) in front of center William Nylander (29) during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL Stanley Cup first round playoff series in Washington, Thursday, April 13, 2017.
The Leafs head back to Toronto for Game 3 on Monday night feeling like they've got a shot to not only make some noise, but possibly even beat the best team in hockey during the regular season. Vegas odds have the Capitals as a 3-1 favorite to bring Lord Stanley's Cup home to D.C. For that to take place, they must beat out the upstart Toronto Maple Leafs in the first round of the playoffs.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have a tough hill to climb if they hope to usurp the Washington Capitals in their first-round series, but the team's young guns have already surpassed some pretty high expectations this season.
"He went through a stretch of games where he hadn't scored in a while, and his personality and his approach has been the same, and that's impressive", center Brian Boyle said. But despite nine Leafs in their first National Hockey League playoff milieu, it was the Caps who looked like puck-fumbling first timers much of the opening period, dumping into No Man's Land and not picking their man as the quicker Leafs snuck in behind.
"Yeah, he's Steady Eddie", Wilson said. "And that's a big reason why he's part of our team".
Andersen made a great save, but Mitch Marner's speed catching up to Ovechkin and hinder him on the breakaway was remarkable.
"We have to focus on the next game", Holtby said, noting the Caps have rarely played with the lead in this series after playing with it the most this season.
"The team played really well today", Kapanen said. They got good enough goaltending.
Wilson is one of several Capitals players the Maple Leafs have to worry about as they try to dig out of a 1-0 hole.
The Leafs thought they had gotten away with sparingly using regular scratch Martin Marincin on defence, until it was Marincin's clearing attempt that was converted into overtime victor.
Andersen made 47 saves in a game that almost spilled into Sunday morning. He has 88 saves on 94 shots (.936 SV%) through the first two games of the series.
Dion Phaneuf - Ottawa's veteran blueliner scored the overtime victor, in addition to recording two assists, in a 4-3 Game Two win over Boston. He was finally helped off the ice by teammates and a trainer while putting no weight on his right leg. Rielly and Jake Gardiner played 40-plus minutes when Polak went out in the second period, Matt Hunwick 35:19.
"We'll be fine", Rielly said. "We were probably just like the Leafs". James van Riemsdyk on a solo rush, flipped it between Orlov and partner Matt Niskanen, and caught up to it, one of the many plays he's adopted off the rush of late instead of relying on blue paint goals.
"It's hard to say what was up there", captain Alex Ovechkin said. When ineffective on the scoresheet, these lines resort to over-physical play that can be costly and taxing, especially as games go beyond regulation and past the first overtime period. "I feel like we've grown because of it". Sorry, I'm just still a little shook that he scored. "One goal and the game is over".
Toronto had to shuffle its pairings around with Nikita Zaitsev, the top minute-eater from the regular season, sidelined by a suspected concussion.
Justin Williams, a three-time Cup victor and annual playoff hero, scored the first of his two just as a five-on-three advantage expired.
Now everyone else realizes that, too. "They are good team". "There's no easy rounds".
The Capitals celebrate Williams' game-tying goal.