Published: Fri, April 14, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Wilson scores in OT as Caps survive scare to beat Leafs

Wilson scores in OT as Caps survive scare to beat Leafs

"I would say to some degree for sure", said van Riemsdyk.

The Williams goal 12:24 into the game helped the Capitals go into the first intermission with some confidence as they went on for a 3-2 overtime victory.

The Montreal Canadiens found that out firsthand in their shutout loss to the Rangers, and coach Claude Julien thinks "the jitters should be gone by now" in preparation for Game 2 Friday. But five minutes after it's over, it has to be: "'What's next?'" The Toronto Maple Leafs will play their first playoff game in nearly four years Thursday night in Washington.

Mitch Marner - Toronto's roster of rookies made their National Hockey League playoff debuts, but Marner made the quickest impact, scoring a goal 1:35 into Game One at Washington. Their last overtime win in the post-season came against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2003. Just sit back and enjoy the playoffs.

The Twitterverse lit up for Marner as well, but fans also acknowledged what it meant for all nine of the team's rookies hitting playoff ice for the first time. He then made two terrific stops on Brooks Orpik and Andre Burakovksy early in the overtime period, the Leafs share of scoring opportunities slowing before Wilson's game-winner.

In particular, he singled out Babcock and assistant GM Mark Hunter for the impact they have had on the worst-to-wild card season of the Leafs. "I think I feel more like, 'It's go time!' I think the team is in a great place", Moore said.

"There's only so many times you get kicked before you fight back and you overcome".

You look back over his career, and he's typically been a third-pair guy. Quite frankly, they played like it was just another game. They had the potential to play division rival Ottawa, but by losing their last home game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Leafs didn't secure the necessary point total they needed. Mike Babcock and Barry Trotz going head-to-head over a seven game series is bound to be a pleasure to watch. So much of the responsibility is on him and has been ever since he got here. "Quick turnover, I decided I was just gonna rip it on net". Fubo TV is available at 35$/month (with a 7-day-free-trial), they provide a variety of sports channels.

For all things Leafs-Capitals, the Toronto Sun has you covered.

"No space. Zero", Babcock said after the regular season finale. The Golden Knights begin play next season.

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The Montreal fan base, known for its long memories, will nearly certainly let Kreider know they haven't forgotten. Alternate captain Dan Girardi took all the right angles to shut down the Canadiens on the defensive end.

Plus: Justin Williams came to play tonight. It was Matthews' post-game reaction that has stuck with the Leafs president. "You could just tell the physicality and the speed".

"The big thing is we have to get a game here to keep it tight, so they stay tight", said Babcock. He was telling you who he was. "They're a heck of a team, but we're not slouches, either". "None of it is done without (Curtis) McElhinney, without (Kasperi) Kapanen, without Naz's (Kadri) forechek, without (Roman) Polak's blocked shot, without Hyman's pass".

Nylander and the other rookies will need to be at their best.

Andersen makes a save during game one. At no point in the game did Washington really appear to be in control. However, the Leafs won 54 percent of the faceoffs. Alexander Ovechkin had a rather terrible season, finishing with 69 points. Matthews out all about playoff hockey against grown men a year ago playing in the Swiss league. "We've responded well to adversity. I don't know sometimes we lock ourselves up and we're passive instead of being aggressive". That would be the wrong word. "We just took a deep breath after that and regrouped". I understand the narrative of the young guys, but our veteran players have been huge for us. We're going to be a real hard out.

It's all part of the plan, the process, Shanahan likes to call it. The Leafs were impressive: just not impressive enough.

"What happens next?" he asks rhetorically. I'm trying for it not to bounce in off me, and it bounced off the net right on [Marner's] stick. "We didn't want us watching them (in awe)".

"I interviewed in mid-January and when I got the interview I felt real comfortable coming in here". It would be easy to throw out a number.

"I don't know who was behind me".

"Our focus in management has been less about the when and more about the how". This team has certainly what it takes.

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