Johansson's OT goal gives Capitals series win at Toronto
Apr 29 2017 by Dustin Murphy
Experience - or lack thereof - never much mattered in this series, though.
Bitter from the end result of Game 6, a 2-1 overtime defeat which ended a closely-matched first round series with the heavily favoured Washington Capitals.
The overtime period of game six was the 18th of the 2017 first round, setting an National Hockey League record for most overtime games in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.
And while Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said last year's second-round meeting was a snapshot of this upcoming one, the same could be said of the Maple Leafs series the Capitals just won. Toronto's 30th place finish in '15-'16 was not in vain and they walked away with the Auston Matthews ticket, Shanahan clutching the placard with the new Leaf logo that deputy commissioner Bill Daly unveiled as the victor. They have a very good future. Some people in the hockey world may not have expected it, but Toronto's evolution, surge through the standings and into a playoff berth gave Leafs Nation a thrill that will resonate throughout the summer and into the start of their 101st season. The message to the rest of the Eastern Conference seemed clear.
In a year to celebrate the team's past, but also look ahead, Toronto flooded the rink with rookies and let them find their way.
"We didn't push them", said Babcock, talking about most of the third period and the overtime. "They have a deep lineup and their forwards come at you". The Capitals, and their big star, Alex Ovechkin, have always been known as a talented team that can't get it done in the postseason.
But the Leafs could not hang on for a win in regulation time as Johansson started his scoring heroics with a goal at 12:51 to tie the score. It goes down as a six-game out in the first round but it felt longer and more gruelling with all of the bonus periods and one-goal games. "He's fine and we expect him to be ready to go". "So we've got a lot to work to do and we understand that as an organization".
This was all similar to how the Penguins beat the Capitals, 4-2, at this exact time of last year's playoffs.
The youngest Maple Leafs got their first taste of the NHL's post-season. Mid-series, Holtby worked on body control and bounced back to allow just two goals in the final two games of the series. "Don't guess, just react". One name that keeps coming up amongst pundits is Vancouver's Chris Tanev, while I would also put forth pending Washington free agent Karl Alzner, who missed most of the series due to injury. If you are a good player and you like winning this is the best place you could ever play. Smaller, quick guys with a lot of skill who make plays and play the game fast.
The Maple Leafs praised Washington's penalty-killing.
Washington carries a 3-2 series lead into a later game Sunday at Toronto in the only first-round matchup still ongoing. Pittsburgh doesn't have injured defenseman Kris Letang, but is still a formidable puck-moving force and could have veteran winger Chris Kunitz back.
"We just wanted to get control of the puck on the face off", Johansson said of the victor. "At the same time, we know Pittsburgh is coming to town and it's going to be insane".
Thankfully for the Leafs, this resulted in the first goal of the game by Auston Matthews.
Marcus Johansson's second goal of Game 6 came 6:31 into the 18th overtime during the NHL's opening round - a playoff record - bringing an end to the Leafs' season that exceeded all expectations.
The Washington Capitals have a chance to advance to the second round of the playoffs if they can defeat the Maple Leafs in Toronto Sunday night.