emfizz.com April 27, 2017

Capitals vs. Maple Leafs: Game 4 is a turning point for Washington

20 April 2017, 10:06 | Terri Saunders

Opportunity lost: 'We weren't ready to play,' says Babcock after Game 4 defeat to Capitals

Capitals beat Maple Leafs 5-4, tie series at 2 games apiece

Bozak scored 1:37 into overtime to cap Toronto's comeback from two goals down in the second period, and the Maple Leafs beat the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals 4-3 Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Tom Wilson, who scored the overtime victor in the opener, had a pair in a dominant first period which saw the Caps outshoot the Leafs 15-6 and manage 26 even-strength shot attempts to just 14 for Toronto. Washington was shocked by Toronto in a Game 3 OT loss Monday, giving the Maple Leafs a series lead of one game. Rinne made 34 saves, even with his franchise playoff scoreless streak ending early in the second period at 141 minutes, 5 seconds. "So we've got to get to the net".

"That's on me, to get him in the ice time", Trotz said. "You've just got to block it out and play a style of hockey where you don't really care if it's flashy, you care if you're doing the right things to win". "Real happy for him". He skated around the net, spun around and fired the puck which deflected past Frederik Andersen. "They've probably always been the best player and the best player on their teams and have always had the pressure to play well".

Don't worry about Tom Wilson. They've certainly tested Andersen plenty, but the Maple Leafs goaltender stopped 47 of the 50 shots he saw Saturday.

Who takes home Game 4?

We got off to a two-goal lead.

In past playoff appearances, the Capitals relied heavily on Alex Ovechkin for a lot of their scoring. Matthews and Nylander became the first rookies to score in the same mid-April game since Wendel Clark and Steve Thomas in 1986, the year Toronto upset first-place Chicago in the Norris Division best-of-five.

In a matter of mere seconds, the Caps went from staring a 2-2 tie to leading 3-1. It started with a healthy run by Kadri at Brooks Orpik, whose hit had accidentally injured Polak. Period two would feature goals from Alexander Ovechkin and John Carlson for Washington, and Kasperi Kapanen and Morgan Rielly for Toronto.

"I don't think they're a naive group", Kadri said. "We've got to get screens".

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Even young legs were feeling the strain as the clock ticked away and fans at Verizon Center were warned about the Metro system closing at midnight. The Caps bottled up the speed attack that was so apparent two days earlier in a game Tyler Bozak won for Toronto in overtime. Ovechkin also continued to free up teammates and set a physical tone on the forecheck and in the neutral zone.

On a conference call Sunday with reporters, Trotz hinted at possible lineup tweaks coming now that Washington will be the road team for the next two games and Babcock will have more control of matchups with the last change. "When Karl's ready and the trainers tell me he's ready, then we'll have to make that decision".

"I think that kind of works in our favour, home ice", Matthews said. His personal goal drought is now 12 straight postseason games, though he did have an assist. While he stuck with the combination of Matthews and Hyman all season, he often flipped Nylander for Connor Brown on the right wing - preferring the Toronto native as a more reliable defensive option.

Mitch Marner scored his first Stanley Cup Playoff goal 1:30 into Game 1.

Now everyone else realizes that, too.

When you have skilled guys creating that much offense, it's demoralizing when the chances they continue to create get broken up or aren't capitalized on. "There's no easy rounds".

Tyler Bozak scored the overtime victor after the Leafs dug out from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1, controlling large swaths of play against a team that piled up 55 wins and 118 points during the regular season.

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