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

The former Vezina Trophy victor stopped 35 of 37 shots in the overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1, made 47 saves in a double-overtime loss to Toronto in Game 2 and then allowed four goals on 28 shots in Saturday's Game 3 loss.

"I think it's that time of year, there's been some fabulous heroes, not always the ones that you think are going to be there", Trotz said.

Observers of the first-round series in the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs between the Caps and Maple Leafs had been starting to wonder. High commitment. He is a growing young player who is physically very strong and he's grown to be a good penalty killer. Really happy for him.

Boston stormed back with four unanswered goals after Kadri gave Toronto a 4-1 lead in the third period of Game 7 of a 2013 first-round series.

Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble each netted a pair of goals in Game 4 of the Caps' first-round series with the Montreal Canadiens in 2010 in a 6-3 Washington win. Oshie was credited with two of them - his first of the playoffs - including the one that stood as the game-winner when Toronto made things interesting in the final minute. "We've always believed in ourselves", said Tyler Bozak, who scored on a power play at 1:37 to whip the city into a frenzy. So was the Auston Matthews goal that cut the Caps' lead to 4-3 with eight minutes left. The Toronto native had seven goals in 82 games this season. Wilson has given their third line a bit of a spark, something it desperately needed.

"I thought all our guys stepped up tonight", Wilson said. But the Hyman-Mathews-Nylander line is the best weapon the Leafs have had, and has been all year (it led the National Hockey League in scoring chances for in the regular season). "You know what, it's fun to win in Toronto for sure".

Washington raced out to a 4-1 lead in the opening period before Toronto rallied late on home ice but the Capitals held on in game four. As J.P. noted, Kasperi Kapanen's game-winning double overtime goal came 20 seconds after Kapanen won a draw against Evgeny Kuznetsov.

"We started out hot, they made adjustments, (and now) we've got to make to more adjustments and figure out ways to get the puck back", Boyle said.

"I think we know it's a crucial game for us", Capitals defenceman Brooks Orpik said before the game.

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Oshie got the first one for the Caps when he capitalized on a Nate Schmidt point shot sent purposefully wide of the net.

Toronto looked fast and full of skill in snatching two of the first three games, but none of that was evident through two periods on Wednesday night.

Keven Wilson brought up another Hunter brother while recounting the tale of how former Capitals GM George McPhee selected his son in the first round, 16th overall, in the 2012 draft. Trotz previously said it was on him to get Ovechkin more ice time. It was nearly like there was no doubt when we came out of the dressing room. The 23-year-old first stopped Morgan Rielly's shot from sneaking across the goal-line and then raced to the other end to deflect an innocent Lars Eller shot.

On his next shift, Wilson barreled over Rielly near the Washington blue line and then finished off a two-on-one sequence with Andre Burakovsky.

The Minnesota Wild still have a long way to go, but they took the first step last night in trying to come back from a 3-0 series deficit with a shutout of the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. "Until we change the narrative, that's going to be the question".

James van Riemsdyk scored the lone goal of the second period, during a Leafs power-play.

Washington took the lead 2-1, just minutes into the 1st.

The Leafs haven't had the kind of trouble many anticipated with Caps goalie Braden Holtby, scoring four goals in each of the past three games. Interim coach Bruce Cassidy said injured defensemen Torey Krug, Brandon Carlo and Adam McQuaid are progressing, but he doesn't expect them to play in Game 5. "We knew after that, we can do our business".

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