Photo: Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images
We mentioned earlier in the week that the Capitals at Maple Leafs game was one of our 10 “measuring stick” games. One of the remaining games on the Capitals regular season schedule that should provide some insight as to how the team is shaping up for the upcoming playoffs. So how did it go? The Capitals held on for a 3-2 win. Let’s take a look at the numbers:
After a scoreless opening frame, the Capitals opened the scoring with a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin at 3:54 of the middle frame. Brett Connolly made it 2-0 with a tally at 12:07 for a 2-0 lead at the second intermission. The Leafs would get on the scoreboard early in the final frame, but Tom Wilson would restore the two-goal lead with a shothanded tally midway through the final frame. The Leafs would add a late 6-on-5 goal but it wasn’t enough. Caps win 3-2.
Braden Holtby got the start in goal for the Capitals and Frederik Andersen got the start between the pipes for the Maple Leafs. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Madison Bowie and Dmitrij Jaskin. Devante Smith-Pelly was waived on Wednesday. He cleared waivers at noon on Thursday and subsequently re-assigned to Hershey.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
The Maple Leafs held the edge in offensive zone time in the opening frame. The Leafs led in shot attempts 38-23 and led in shots on goal (SOG) 12-8. The Capitals out-attempted the Leafs 20-20 and led 13-9 in SOG. The Capitals were out-attempted 22-10 in the final frame, however, the Capitals had a two goal lead for most of it, and fell back into a defensive posture for most of the final frame. The Maple Leafs led 21-7 in SOG for the final frame, and 42-28 for the game.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (DIFFERENTIAL)
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATION)
Braden Holtby was once again excellent, stopping 40 of 42 shots for a .955 save percentage. Frederik Andersen stopped 25 of 28 for a .893 game save percentage.
The Capitals were 1 for 3 and the Maple Leafs were 0 for 2 on the power play.
The Capitals were smoked at the dot in the opening frame, losing 11 of 13 faceoffs, but rebounded in the second period, winning 9 of 21. The Capitals ended the game winning 17 of 53 for a 32% winning percentage. Alex Ovechkin was 0 for 1, Brett Connolly was 0 for 1, Nicklas Backstrom was 5 for 12, Lars Eller was 3 for 12, Nic Dowd was 4 for 8, T.J. Oshie was 2 for 7 and Evgeny Kuznetsov was 3 for 12.
- Alex Ovechkin gave the Caps a 1-0 lead. He now has an NHL leading 43 goals this season, and goals in four straight games (5g) and three power play goals in his last two games.
- Alex Ovechkin is the 4th player to record 650 goals with a single franchise in NHL history, joining Gordie Howe (786 with Red Wings), Steve Yzerman (692 with Red Wings) and Mario Lemieux (690 with Penguins).
- Tom Wilson scores a shorthanded goal, his second shorthanded goal of the season. He’s the fourth Capitals forward to record two shorthanded goals in the last five seasons (Troy Brouwer: 2014-15; Jason Chimera: 2015-16; Daniel Winnik: 2016-17).
- Brett Connolly gave the Caps a 2-0 lead. That’s his 15th goal of the season, tying his career high that he’s recorded in each of the last two seasons as a Capital.
Nicklas Backstrom led the Capitals in shots with 4. Tom Wilson, Nic Dowd and Brooks Orpik led the team in hits with 5. Tom Wilson and Brooks Orpik led the team in blocks with 5.