Game Preview: Capitals @ Maple Leafs, Game 3

After dropping a tough double overtime loss in Game 2, the Capitals will look to take command in the best four out of seven series as it shifts to Toronto. The Capitals and Maple Leafs will continue their series Monday night from Air Canada Centre. Puck drop is at 7 PM

The Capitals got their home ice advantage snatched on Saturday night in the most disturbing way imaginable, giving up a goal to a first round Penguins draft pick in Kasperi Kapanen. He netted his second goal of the game in double overtime. Brian Boyle snuck a backhand pass from behind the net to Kapanen and he banged it home to even the series at one game apiece.

“You’ve got to have a little bit of a short-term memory, that’s what the playoffs are about. Both sides had great chances to end it early, but we’re in one and we’re playing a very good team on the other side and they’re battling. They want it very bad and we want it, too,” Barry Trotz told the media following the loss. “We’ll go to Toronto and see if we can do what they did to us. This one’s done so you just gotta look forward.”

The series now shifts to Toronto. The Capitals and the Maple Leafs met at the Air Canada Centre twice during the regular season. The Caps dropped the first game back in late November 4-2 while winning the second and final regular season contest 4-1 in early April.

There may be some changes in the lines, as Trotz indicated in a conference call on Sunday, but he wouldn’t elaborate any further. If anything, there could be changes on the top two lines. We’ll see how they look on Monday during the morning skate.

The Leafs now have momentum in this series after getting out of DC with a split in the first two games. Another defenseman got banged up as Roman Polak left Game 2 with a lower body injury. It’s unclear whether or not he will suit up for Game 3. Kapanen scored two goals in Game 2 and his second tally in double overtime would be the difference.

“I’ve got a lot of energy for sure. Two big goals and I think our team played really well today. We deserved to win, and I’m just really happy about the outcome,” said Kapanen.

After scoring the first goal on a tally from James van Riemsdyk, the Leafs had to come back in the second period from a 2-1 deficit and then had to remain strong after the Caps tied it at 3 in the third period. In overtime, Frederik Anderson stopped a breakaway opportunity from Alex Ovechkin. From there, the Leafs pressured and ultimately came away with the win.


  • Braden Holtby has posted two shutouts, a 1.72 goals-against average, and a .940 save percentage in his playoff career following a loss.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal on Saturday against Toronto, passing Peter Bondra (13) for first place on the Capitals playoff power play goals list.
  • Justin Williams has registered eight points (three goals, five assists) in eight career playoff games against Toronto.

Game Notes at Toronto, 4/17/17 (Capitals PR)
Scene Shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Monday (Mike Vogel)

Season series flashback:

By Michael Marzzacco

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3 Responses to Game Preview: Capitals @ Maple Leafs, Game 3

  1. Connor Kosko says:

    It seems even when we aren’t playing the Rangers or Penguins they’re still haunting us with ghosts of playoffs past with their former players this series….

    Still a ways to go there’s no need to panic yet. The Caps just need to steal one game away but more importantly simply improve their play. They need to emulate that shift on Backstrom’s goal in the 3rd period more often, that kind of pressure on the young Leafs has been few and far between.

    Go Caps!

  2. Pingback: How Can the Capitals Change the Series Around in Games 3 and 4? | NoVa Caps

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