It was a Jurassic night for Toronto sports fans with both the Raptors and Maple Leafs in playoff games on Saturday. The importance of a slight disparity like that can be debated, but the Maple Leafs' 61 percent edge in a game that lasted more than 90 minutes took a toll on the Capitals on Saturday night, especially as they were attempting to rally from a deficit for most of the game.
"The veterans have done a good job giving us confidence to play game in and game out", Brown said. "They're a team that gives the puck back to you when you're physical, just like when they're physical with us". You get a chance or an opportunity, you got to bury them.
"[The Caps are] a structured team".
"I've been in tons of these series where you play lots of overtime", he said. Toronto barely made the playoffs, but they've put the Capitals on the ropes at times, jamming up passing lanes, forcing turnovers, and creating breakaways by flying past Capitals defenders - somewhat reminiscent what the Pittsburgh Penguins did to the Caps on their way to the Stanley Cup a year ago.
"We've had some amusing games this year", Blackhawks head coach Joel Quenneville told reporters following Saturday night's loss. They are dumping intelligently to areas where their speed is forechecking! They're going to have their surges, they're going to score some goals, the bounces are going to go their way sometimes, and we've got to work for our bounces. "Which sucks for them".
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Washington is the clear favorite to win today, as the Capitals are getting odds of -250 to win, while the Toronto Maple Leafs are getting odds of +210 to prevail. A Western Conference GM said before the series that Andersen would need to put up a.940 save percentage for the Leafs to have a chance at the upset.
Andersen has stopped 88-of-94 shots through two games for a.936 save percentage while Holtby has turned aside 82-of-88 shots for a.932 clip.
Well, goaltender Frederik Andersen, who was really good in Game 1 save for an unfortunate whiff on the game-winner and superb in Game 2, practically said as much. You're going to find yourself on the right side of those plays.' And what a feather in his cap it was tonight.
Ovechkin and John Carlson added goals for Washington.
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But the young Leafs, whose top three scorers are all under 21, have proven they belong in this series and maybe planted a seed of doubt in Washington, which was the overwhelming favorite. It'll be an exciting environment and then as the game goes on the fans are no different probably than the players - they're playing every shift with you. "It's their puck support - there's always someone in the vicinity helping them out".
"He was pressing for points towards the end of the year [after going pointless in his first 15 National Hockey League games dating back to last season]". We're a sliver away, a bounce or a break, from the Maple Leafs heading home to Ontario with a two-games-to-none lead. "So Washington's size and ability to protect the puck just hasn't been a major factor yet".
Perhaps prompted by the shouts of Kasperi Kapanen, Brian Boyle checked his blindspot (to make sure that it was, in fact, the "higher percentage play") and swung a feathered backhand drop pass to the cutting rookie, who popped the overtime victor inside the post Braden Holtby vacated to track Boyle. It's nearly been like a track meet.
The Leafs-Caps series was tied at one game apiece going into Monday's contest.
"I don't know what to say", Capitals alternate captain Nicklas Backstrom told reporters. They have trailed Washington for less than four minutes total.
Williams's winning résumé commanded the respect of a Capitals locker room desperate for some postseason success.
And, finally, the kids are showing that they've learned their lessons.
Leafs head coach Mike Babcock essentially went with four defencemen after that, with Rielly and Gardiner both logging more than 40 minutes of ice time. "They got a lot of maturity in their game now and it's showing up".