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Game Preview: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Four

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Can the Maple Leafs extend their series lead against the Presidents Trophy winning Capitals?

Washington Capitals v Toronto Maple Leafs - Game Three

The Toronto Maple Leafs led their first round series vs the Washington Capitals 2-1, and all three games have gone to overtime. This has been the closest series of the NHL playoffs so far this year. Tonight the Maple Leafs have the opportunity to take their first 3-1 playoff series lead since the 1963 Stanley Cup Finals, where they defeated the Detroit Red Wings. Yes, it’s been 54 years since they’ve taken a 3-1 series lead.

The Maple Leafs have that opportunity tonight.

Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs
7:00PM - Air Canada Centre
TV: CBC / NBCSN / TVA Sports
Stream: CBC.ca, NBC Sports, Game Centre Live
Radio: TSN1050 AM
SBN: Japers Rink
Maple Leaf Square forecast: Cloudy, low of 9.

All three games have gone to overtime this series, and so far we haven’t been shown any reason to think tonight will be a blow out. Both teams will be missing defenders - Maple Leafs Roman Polak is out for the season, and the Caps will not dress Karl Alzner again tonight - and both goalies are putting on tutorials on how to play the position (despite many Caps fans being mad online and wanting Brayden Holtby benched).

Quick Numbers

Toronto Team Washington
Toronto Team Washington
10GF - 9GA - +1 Goal Differential 9GF - 10GA - -1
22.2% - 7th overall Power Play 27.3% - 3rd overall
72.7% - 12th overall Penalty Kill 77.8% - 10th overall
Kasperi Kapanen - 2 Most Goals Ovechkin / Williams / Backstrom - 2
Rielly / Bozak / Martin / Boyle - 2 Most Assists TJ Oshie - 4
Morgan Rielly / Tyler Bozak - 3 Most Points Justin Williams / TJ Oshie - 4
Matt Martin - 6 Most PM Justin Williams - 6
Jake Gardiner - 31:03/G TOI Leader Matt Niskanen - 27:44/G
Frederik Andersen - .925sv% Top Goalie Brayden Holtby - .914sv%

The Toronto Maple Leafs have spread their scoring around so much that it’s Kasperi Kapanen of all players who leads the team in goals. It’s nothing against him, his goals have been huge for the team, but if you were to pick a player before game one to lead the team, very, very, very few would have picked him.

Potential Lines

Toronto Maple Leafs
Morning skate lines

Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitchell Marner
Matt Martin - Brian Boyle - Kasperi Kapanen

Matt Hunwick - Morgan Rielly
Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev
Martin Marincin - Connor Carrick

Frederik Andersen
Curtis McElhinney

Washington Capitals
Morning Skate lines

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Tom Wilson - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Brett Connolly

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Kevin Shattenkirk

Brayden Holtby
Phillipp Grubauer

Pre-Game reading

Barry Trotz takes blame for Alex Ovechkin’s low ice time in Game Three ‹ Russian Machine Never Breaks (Russian Machine Never Breaks)

PPP Podcast! Caps-Leafs, + Marlies Playoffs - Pension Plan Puppets (Pension Plan Puppets)

Our JP and JapersRink JP talk Leafs-Caps also our JP and Species talk Marlies playoffs

All Tyler all the time: a new hero emerges in game three - Pension Plan Puppets (Pension Plan Puppets)

Another overtime, another big damn hero.

The Narrative: Match-Ups, Free Hockey and No Cigar - Japers' Rink (Japers' Rink)

Three things we’re talking about this afternoon when we’re talking about the Caps


You can keep up to date with the Game Four story stream here.

Go Leafs Go!
Buds All Day.