Connor Brown jumping and up and down after that goal is going to be part of Leafs montages for years to come.
Damn the Verizon Center is loud. Bet the ACC will be louder.
Zaitsev is out for the Leafs, Carlson is back for the Caps
Kadri line starts, Andersen makes a glove save on Orloff
Ice is shiny, pace is fast, Leafs clearly want the puck on the net.
18:25 MARNER SCORES! After a bit of tic tac toe from his linemates Mitch dives for the puck and it goes past Holtby easy as you please. 1-0
Caps turn it over right to Kadri and he fires it, saved by Holtby.
Hunwick breaks a stick and my blood pressure goes through the roof.
Andersen ends up on his ass and Oshie and Carrick get into a shoving match after the whistle.
Shot on Andersen and he knows there’s a rebound but isn’t sure where it is. Goes swimming, there’s a scramble and Eller decides to crosscheck Marincin into the ice a few times. Even in the playoffs you can’t do that.
15:26 Power play.... and the puck ends up at the wrong end of the ice.
Caps are trying to be annoying and Leafs continue to not rise to the bait.
Power play isn’t spending a lot of time in the right zone. Almost a wraparound by Kadri as it comes to the end but that was the best chance.
Leafs definitely look better 5 on 5 and Caps seem to have the jitters.
Bozak line is jumping. I think Marner wants a playoff hattrick.
10:16 GOAL... or is there? The goal is called off because Kadri’s in the crease. This isn’t an IIHF game, ref. Challenge, it’s quick and it’s 2-0 Leafs! I had to check who scored since all the focus was on Kadri. The scorer? Jake Gardiner, unassisted because screening the hell out of the goalie is not actually an assist.
9:38 Penalty to Boyle for interference
That is a very small, tight defensive shell. Block by Hunwick, trip by Komarov and it’s 5 on 3 already. Somehow Hyman ends up in the box instead.
9:08 Couple of offsides by the Caps. Their power play looks better than the Leafs’ but mostly in terms of keeping it in the zone - there’s a lot of missed communication, a broken stick from Shattenkirk but the puck gets to Oshi and he gets it to Williams for the PPG just as the first penalty expired.
7:36 So it’s 2-1 but we’re back to 5 on 5.
7:28 Caps are fanning on shots like they think they can send the puck into the net with the breeze alone and Leafs are opportunistic but not doing a ton in terms of extended zone time.
5:06 I would really like us to spend less time in our own zone. The Matthews obliges- both Nylander and Matthews get shots on Holtby but then they’re off and the puck is at the wrong end of the ice again.
3:44 End to end but mostly away from Freddie. Someone goes down hard behind the Leafs net but whoever it is bounces right back up again.
1:30 Leafs make it look like a power play for a little while, which is what I like to see.
33s Freddie thought about letting play go on but hesitated just long enough for a whistle. Crowd is basically silent. Leafs battle through the last seconds and Burakovsky nearly ends up with an own goal.
20:00 False start, so we go again.
Freddie goes wandering for a second which is always nervewracking.
19:33 Caps seem a bit more agressive and maybe a bit more together. Still, they ice the puck, followed by a Leafs icing, and then the Caps are just barely offside. Not the fastest start to period.
18:45 End to end again. Marner is a fiesty wee dude isn’t he - battling with Kuznetsov for position.
17:05 Third icing for the Leafs. Zone entries are a thing, boys. Bozak line must be tired. Marner excepted, who really seems to want to just play all sixty tonight. They get the puck in the right end and Marner’s the last off the ice.
15:44 Boyle tries for a wraparound but nobody can get to the rebound.
A failed Caps shot goes up in the air and bounces at Nylander’s feet. He doesn’t look a gift puck in the teeth and takes it out of the zone.
13:58 We come back from commercial on a shot of JVR’s face that I’m sure Species appreciates.
13:12 Leafs outshooting Caps 21 - 15 at this point.
Leafs set up in the Caps zone and William Nylander is comfortable enough to pause and look around. If the Leafs are feeling they have time the Caps are really not doing their jobs.
11:36 Caps still doing mysterious things like missing pucks. Leafs not getting pinned in their own zone as much, although Kuznetsov gets a chance in one on one. He has to go for the wraparound, which doesn’t work.
10:00 Orlov sends the puck into the air and all the way down the other end for another icing. If this is President’s Trophy pressure or home ice pressure, the Caps aren’t clicking.
10:36 Marincin puts a shot on with Boyle in front of Holtby but Holtby makes the save.
Carrick on Ovechkin is fun just for the numbers. 8 battling 8!
9:15 Shots now 25 - 15. It doesn’t feel like the Leafs are getting quite that much space but the Caps certainly don’t seem as intimidating as I expected.
8:11 Hunwick gets a post after some dipsy-doodling by Marner and Gardiner.
7:28 Kuznetsov shot looks dangerous but blocked by Matthews.
7:11 Andersen makes a great glove save on Johansson
6:52 Another shot high in the air that Freddie gloves before it lands. Someone’s been watching the Jays.
Niskanen starts wrecking shit, taking down a couple of Leafs near the bench and then there’s a collision behind the net between Andersen and Connolly. It’s Connolly that goes down, no call.
5:37 Caps ice the puck again. If I was a Capitals fan I’d be really frustrated about now.
4:32 Kadri sends a fast pass cross-ice to Brown who makes a shot from the Caps blue line. Holtby gloves it, but mission accomplished, TV timeout and line change.
4:00 DAMMIT. Niskanen gets a weak shot off, Andersen loses the rebound and Williams ties the game. 2-2
Crowd is back in it and Caps have life. They’re pressing, but Leafs manage not to get trapped in their own zone, courtesy of a save through a screen by Andersen that squirts all the way out.
2:26 Penalty on Matt Martin for cross checking. Leafs clear the puck quikcly and there’s Hyman buzzing as usual. Better looking penalty kill than the last one and more successful. Ovechkin got some open ice but was stopped before he managed a shot.
I’m sure there’s a lot of muttering about losing another two goal lead but hopefully Babcock made good use of the intermission.
20:00 Kadri vs Beagle line to start but not for very long as Kadri goes off.
Kapanen gets the puck to Rielly who gets off a nice shot but not nice enough.
18:36 No one’s dominating yet but Leafs seem to have the puck more.
17:19 JVR slings one on net. Holtby handles it. My shoulders are currently t
Orlov gets a shot off but that’s as much as happens in the Leafs zone before the puck gets out again.
16:31 Speed has picked way up and it’s a track meet. Andersen makes another glove save and there’s a... discussion around the net that the refs have to break up. Komarov and Wilson head back to the bench still chirping.
16:14 Bozak takes a shot and Holtby can’t corral it but the Leafs can’t settle the puck.
15:07 Another Caps icing.
Puck keeps arcing in to the air as if points are awarded for how much hang time is achieved.
14:36 Kuznetsov had a chance around the side of the net but couldn’t jam it through Freddie. The faceoff is followed by wayy too much time in the Leafs zone. Caps fans are well loud again.
13:05 Shots 31-29 for the Leafs. Caps are catching up. Andersen makes a glove save on Backstrom
12:47 Matthews tries to win the game by himself but can’t get an opportunity to really shoot.
11:40 Marner gets some time with JVR but Holtby stops him.
10:49 Andersen makes a save on Shattenkirk and there’s more activity after the whistle. Caps are pressing but Leafs still pushing back.
Note: I don’t know what this game would look like without Freddie but not good. Leafs aren’t leaving him out to dry but he has had to be damn good a few times.
A couple of times Caps have tried to check various rookies and all but bounced off which is hilarious.
8:55 Leafs still not intimidated. Caps might have momentum but Leafs don’t seem to care that much.
Morgan Rielly and Matt Hunwick have actually been pretty good tonight.
7:08 Caps bench door opens and the puck flies in, giving us a break from some fast, hard-hitting hockey.
Ovi sends the puck over the net and I stopped breathing there for a second.
6:11 Matthews line look like they’re getting set for an extended attack but they’re foiled by a blocked shot and Freddie has to settle things down again.
5:46 “getting an overtime like feeling” oh fuck you.
5:15 Kadri rescues a puck in front of an open Leafs net and sends it out. It doesn’t stay out.
4:18 Freddie tries to spring someone but Hyman ends up going in offside.
3:29 Marcus Johnasson comes and receives a pass with possibly Polak chasing him and Andersen needs to make a stop from in close.
2:45 Komarov gets a chance but gets knocked down, followed by a Connor Brown shot.
1:44 Kapanen tries to evade Alzner but can’t get the space to do anything.
1:08 Kadri gets the puck out but loss it to Niskanen.
24.2s Caps ice the puck again. Matthews line on for the draw
0s Ovechkin comes in hot with Polak in front of him and Freddie makes the save at the buzzer.
No loser point in this one boys
19:50 Freddie starts by going wandering with Caps in the zone. My laptop will not survive a lot of that.
18:52 Back and forth but not as fast as in the third to start off.
18:47 Marner throws the puck on net for JVR but Holtby handles it.
18:26 Oshie goes down and no one gets called mostly because nobody did much illegal. Except for ice the puck.
18:11 fight for the puck by the bench and of course the puck ends up in the Caps bench
17:37 sharp angle shot by Kapanen is saved and the Caps come back with a shot that Andersen thought had gone behind him but everything’s out and play keeps going
15:54 Ovechkin comes in offside. Everybody gets a breather.
15:11 Leafs getting a little trapped. They get it into the Caps zone but not for long.
Tom Wilson sends a shot from a weird angle, it goes off Andersen’s glove and that’s the game. 3-2 Caps