The Capitals did exactly what they had to do: take care of business on home ice to take this series back to Toronto up 3-2. Now, the pressure is on the Maple Leafs as they look to keep their season alive and try to force a Game 7 back in Washington. Puck drop Sunday night is at 7 PM.
The Capitals showed incredible heart on their home ice on Friday night. After their star player Alex Ovechkin left the ice thanks to a cheap-shot trip by Nazem Kadri, the Capitals answered on the ensuing power play with a rebound backhanded goal by T.J. Oshie after the puck bounced off the left post.
Ovechkin came back into the game in the second period much to the delight of the home crowd. After surrendering a goal in the second, nobody scored during the rest of regulation and the game needed overtime to decide the winner for the fourth time in five games. This time it was the most clutch player on the Capitals who came through. With an incredible pass in the lane by Evgeny Kuznetsov, Justin Williams fired a bullet past Frederik Anderson to send all the Caps fans home happy.
Washington did a great job in Game 5 on both sides of the ice. They outshot the Maple Leafs 28-25 and held the Leafs scoreless in all four of their power play opportunities. Ovechkin was reevaluated after the game and Trotz told reporters in a conference call on Saturday that he’s okay and will play in Game 6. In the meantime, Karl Alzner is improving and Trotz will consider dressing seven blueliners when Alzner returns.
This is an…intense Barry Trotz quote: “If you have the opportunity to push someone off the cliff, you want to push them off.”
— Katie Brown (@katiebhockey) April 22, 2017
The young Maple Leafs now have their backs to the wall after dropping Game 5. Auston Matthews continued his impressive rookie campaign by scoring Toronto’s lone goal in the second period to tie the game for his third tally of the playoffs. A little fun fact, this is the first time Maple Leafs have played four overtimes in one playoff series since the 1951 Stanley Cup Finals where the Leafs prevailed in five games.
Anderson stopped 26 of 28 stops for a .929 save percentage. In the playoffs so far, he’s carried a 2.86 goals-against average along with a .909 save percentage. Facing elimination, the Caps need to match their level of intensity in Game 6 because they will come out hungry.
- Justin Williams’ overtime goal marked his second career postseason overtime goal and seventh game-winning goal.
- Williams has earned 36 points (16 goals, 20 assists) in Games 5-7 in his career and his teams have posted a 26-18 record in those games.
- Since the 2010-11 postseason, he ranks tied for third in the NHL in goals in Games 5-7 of a series with 12 and is ranked fourth in the league in points with 24.
LAST TIME WE MET
Williams Comes Up Clutch in 2-1 OT Win, Caps Take 3-2 Series Lead
Barry Trotz and The Balance Of Ice Times
Tom Wilson: Hero in Washington, Villain in Toronto
Capitals Beat Maple Leafs 5-4, Tie up Series
Capitals Fall to Maple Leafs 4-3 (OT)
Leafs Stun Caps 4-3 in Double OT, Tie the Series at 1-1
Capitals Beat Leafs in OT 3-2, Tom Wilson Notches Game Winner
By Michael Marzzacco