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Washington Capitals beat Toronto Maple Leafs, tie series at 2 games apiece

21 April 2017

You have to love springtime hockey.

Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said before the series that the six-foot-four, 210-pound forward wasn't a big concern prior to Game 1.

It didn't happen, as everything Babcock warned his players about ultimately materialized in a 5-4 loss that pulled Washington even with Toronto at two games apiece in their first-round matchup. "I think they adjusted to us to start the series, and now some of us have to adjust to them". Martin Hanzal doubled the Wild's lead at about the same point of the second period, scoring his first career playoff goal to give the Wild the two-goal lead that they wouldn't relinquish.

After a historic night in which four National Hockey League playoff games churned out four different overtime matchups for the first time since 1985, the first round of the postseason swung even more in favor of the underdogs. I thought he was real strong at the end as well.

Wilson towed the good guy line after the game, giving credit to his teammates and refusing to allow much of the spotlight to shine on himself despite adding to his personal highlight reel.

Wilson's friends and family congregated in the stands at Air Canada Centre. NY is very much a scoring-by-committee team, though, and fill-ins such as Pavel Buchnevich, Tanner Glass and Matt Puempel will be eager to show they deserve to be in the lineup, not the press box. They have been underdogs all season but haven't given up in any game at any point. I think we're way better with it.

The Leafs were sleeping in the first few minutes in each of their home games.

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"We got a nice meal today, a nice stretch". "I thought they won all the battles and all the races". They're a good team.

Whether that was indeed the case on Wednesday night, his team simply looked nothing like the speedy, skilled group which swiped two of the first three games. Have the Caps finally figured out how to neutralize the Leafs?

Toronto Raptors fan Victor Anjos didn't think it'd be hard to find takers for his extra National Basketball Association playoff tickets. It seems as if the Leafs have played better later in games, possibly due to youth, possibly due to rest.

The series now shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday.

McPhee also vividly recalls his pre-draft conversation with Wilson.

"We didn't come to compete from the beginning, that's obvious", Andersen said. "He's a high, high character person".

For their part, fans had some parting messages for their team.

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"He's always been rambunctious", said his father, flashing another smile.

The 26-year-old shining on the post-season stage this spring bears only slight resemblance to the flawed but skilled player on that ill-fated team of the past. Enough of this crap with trying to look all professional in your corporate seats, buy a jersey, borrow a jersey and cheer like you mean it. Luckily it did. Those plays kind of go in slo-mo. "He loves to play". "It shows the character in this group, and we're going to have to use that going into Game 5". Hence the first-round draft pick pedigree.

Wilson's play has earned the confidence of Trotz, who moved the winger onto Washington's third line alongside Andre Burakovsky and Lars Eller prior to the game.

With Andersen removed for an extra attacker, Bozak scored at 19:33 of the third.

"He wanted me to stay at the net and create space for my linemates", Wilson said. The other night, we were really good for about 30. Not even a little bit.

In the second period, the Leafs cut the Capitals lead by one goal when a shot James van Riemsdyk hit defenceman Dmitry Orlov and made its way past Holtby.

Washington was hanging on to a 2-1 lead with 6:31 to play in the first period when Wilson prevented the game-tying goal. Nashville's five-man units are just getting more done than the Blackhawks, and while nothing is impossible, including a rebound this week, the Western Conference's No. 1 team isn't playing with a lot of life. "Everyone knows what his role is but he's given us a jolt when we've needed it with a hit, with a great forecheck, a blocked shot".

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