Capitals Daily Report: Caps Look to Push Leafs off the Cliff

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Photo: @Capitals

“If you have the opportunity to push someone off the cliff, you want to push them off.” That was the quote that Barry Trotz stated in a conference call on Saturday, when asked about the upcoming task at hand for the Capitals. Up 3-2 in this best of seven series, Washington looks to close it out tonight on the road in Toronto. Puck drop from The Six is at 7 PM

MORNING SKATE
After a near-scare during Game 5 for the Capitals Captain, Alex Ovechkin was evaluated after the game and Trotz said he was fine. Just as expected, Ovechkin was on the ice for the morning skate and he will play tonight. Trotz praised how his captain bounced back after leaving the game in the first period and returning to the ice for the second.

“He looked pretty driven. That’s the greatness of Alex,” said Trotz. “You poke the bear, he’s pretty driven and I thought he was very focused. That’s why I kept using him because he had that look in his eye. He’s on his game right now and he’s gonna be a force.”

Karl Alzner was also on the ice for the skate, but he is ruled out for Game 6 as he continues to recover from an upper body injury that he suffered in Game 2. He remains day-to-day and was limited in his participation in practice. All the line combinations, including defensive pairs, remained the same. Alzner was skating with Taylor Chorney on the extra d-pair. This is how they looked:

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Johansson-Kuznetsov-Williams
Burakovsky-Eller-Wilson
Winnik-Beagle-Connolly

Defense
Schmidt-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Orpik-Shattenkirk

BEHIND ENEMY LINES
The Maple Leafs line combinations and defensive pairs are the same as they were for Game 5

Forwards
Komarov-Kadri-Brown
Martin-Boyle-Kapanen
JvR-Bozak-Marner
Hyman-Matthews-Nylander

Defense
Rielly-Hunwick
Gardiner-Zaitsev
Marincin-Carrick

“They’re young, but they’re strong,” said Alex Ovechkin. “They battle, they play hard…it’s not going to be easy to beat those guys, but we have an opportunity tonight to get a win and play against Pittsburgh in the second round so we want to do it.”

SCENES FROM TORONTO

SHAVINGS

  • Since 2010, the Capitals are 1-5 in a Game 6 with a chance to advance. However, their lone win during that stretch came last season in Philadelphia. (Ben Raby)
  • T.J. Oshie scored a power play goal on Friday against Toronto, extending his career-long playoff point streak to five games (three goals, four assists).
  • Braden Holtby stopped 24 of 25 shots on Friday against Toronto, marking the 33rd time in his career he has allowed two or fewer goals in a playoff game. Washington is 22-11 in those contests.
  • Nicklas Backstrom earned an assist on Friday against Toronto, extending his playoff point streak to four games (two goals, four assists).
  • Alex Ovechkin ranks tied for first among active players in career playoff goals per game (0.49) and tied for seventh in career playoff points per game (0.96).
  • Washington has won each of it’s last two series when it led the series 3-2 (2015 and 2016 ECQF).
  • Washington earned it’s 26th overtime win in franchise playoff history on Friday against Toronto and it’s second OT win of the series. This series marks the second time in Capitals playoff history that four games have required overtime (2012 vs. Bruins ECQF).

DAILY LINKS
Game Notes at Toronto, 4/23/17 (Capitals PR)
Caps Seek to End Series on Sunday (Mike Vogel)

INTERVIEWS
Alex Ovechkin

Jay Beagle

Barry Trotz

By Michael Marzzacco

Finish Them! #CapsLeafs #Capitals #RockTheRed LetsGoCaps

A post shared by NoVa Caps (@nova_caps) on

About Michael Marzzacco

Michael is an avid DC sports fan with a passion for writing. He has followed the Washington Capitals since the 2003-04 season, around the time his enthusiasm for DC teams really began. It was from the days when they had the worst record in the league to when they became the most exciting team in the area. His Dad took him to his first Caps game a couple of years later. One of his favorite memories was being in the stands during the 2015 Winter Classic where Troy Brouwer scored the game-winning goal with 12 seconds left. Michael graduated from Radford University in May 2016, earning a degree in journalism and focusing on sports journalism and broadcasting. His goal is to work in sports media in Washington, D.C.
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