The kids were all right.
Simply a dominant shift, and it led directly to the Gardiner goal seconds later. Williams' first goal came on the power play after Toronto briefly left him wide open next to the crease. But it's good to know the Caps have it in their back pocket when they don't play their best game.
- Matthews: Was more dependable than spectacular.
- Marner: Returned to the kind of form that has been missing on recent weeks.
CHICAGO - Pekka Rinne made 29 saves after Viktor Arvidsson scored in the first period as Nashville beat Chicago in Game 1 of their series. Not as much in the second half of the game. He likes to play left-handed shots on the left side and right-handed shots on the right side.
- Kapanen: Impressive. Good on forecheck. With the Leafs' first game against the Washington Capitals on Thursday night, who will be healthy and ready for the playoffs? They steadily improved their play before eventually taking over in the third period. Not Brown at his best but like always dependable. "If they get too loose, we'll make it too easy for them". "Tom just scored against Toronto and it's his hometown".
"I interviewed in mid-January and when I got the interview I felt real comfortable coming in here". But defenseman Connor Carrick flipped around from game to game to get a feel for what he and his fellow playoff newcomers are in for. With 2:40 to play, Leo Komarov found himself alone in front, but struggled to control the puck and spun it wide. It nearly worked. JVR led all shooters with five shots on goal through two periods. He handled it nicely with his glove. It maybe came off a little bit of the wrong way, but we went out there and we played.
Fowler sits 3rd at Masters: 'Right where I'm supposed to be'
A pair of very bad wedge shots led to a nine on the par-5 15th hole, a score that sent him plummeting off the leaderboard. And Garcia managed to finally hold his Saturday-at-Augusta demons at bay with a decent round of 70 for a 6-under total.
Tom Wilson can still tick the names off the top of his head. Even Wilson looked surprised. I liked a lot of things about our game.
Coach Mike Babcock would probably huff and dismiss the notion altogether. His wrist shot struck T.J, Oshie's stick and beat Holtby, who immediately claimed Nazem Kadri had somehow interfered with him.
On both of Toronto's first-period goals, Holtby didn't look his all-star self.
And heading into Game Two on Saturday, the Leafs will do just that, with even more confidence. And the Leafs seemed hardly intimidated by what seemed like an intimidating crowd at Verizon. Washington looked lackluster early.
The Leafs did, however, get away with using sixth defenceman Matt Hunwick for more than 26 minutes, more minutes than any Washington player was granted. They had enough offensive chances to win. He faced 44 shots, allowed three against. The Leafs proved to themselves that they can play with the best team in the league. Heading into Game 1, Andersen had never lost to the Caps in three career starts. The shots at the end of the first period was 15-12 Toronto, but the scoring chances were significantly in Toronto's advantage. The Leafs won in six games. Washington dressed no rookies. They are undoubtedly the strongest contender for the Stanley Cup title.
The Ovechkin era has produced eight previous playoff appearances, and that has resulted in five series wins, two blown 3-1 series leads and zero appearances beyond the second round. So who had Tanner Glass, Joel Edmundson, Frank Vatrano or Melker Karlsson in their hockey pools? It's just come in here and act like it's another hockey game, and I think that's what we did.
EDMONTON, Alberta - Veteran San Jose taught upstart Edmonton a lesson in playoff intensity, spotting them two early goals and then roaring back to win. Marner is the first Toronto rookie to score a playoff goal since Jeff Farkas in 2000. The Leafs challenged the Capitals nearly from the puck drop with their speed, especially wide. Justin Williams scored twice in regulation as Washington showed it could handle the adversity of falling behind.