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From the Branches: Maple Leafs with a huge game two win against Capitals

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They head home to Toronto after a win on the road

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t be surprised if Kasperi Kapanen jerseys are out of stock.

Last night he was the hero in a modern version of the Easter Epic; the 4OT game played between the Capitals and Islanders on the Saturday of Easter weekend in 1987. This game was, of course, only an opening round game, and only made it to 2OT, but, for Leafs fans it still felt like an epic, and Kapanen was the hero.

You can check out our recap of the game for details, which included bizarre officiating, a millimetre offside review, and more on all the goals and all the excitement.

Game 3 is in Toronto on Monday and you can bet it will be absolutely insane down by the Air Canada Centre.

One Leaf not playing on Monday, or again this season, is Roman Polak. He suffered a gruesome injury to his leg. I will spare you the GIF showing it bending in a totally not normal way. Sportsnet has the video on Youtube here.

The Marlies lost to the IceCaps 4-1 in their final game of the AHL regular season. They already clinched a playoff spot, so the game was only for pride, but the loss had a curiously expansive ripple effect across their division. First, it allowed the IceCaps to clinch a playoff spot, leaving the Utica Comets on the outside, and ending their season. Also, because the Comets lost to the Syracuse Crunch, the Marlies were bumped down to second in their division. After all the dust settled, it is confirmed that instead of playing the IceCaps, they will face the Albany Devils in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs.

North Division Semifinals – (best-of-5)
Game 1 – Thu., Apr. 20 – Toronto at Albany, 7:00
Game 2 – Sat., Apr. 22 – Toronto at Albany, 5:00
Game 3 – Wed., Apr. 26 – Albany at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 4 – Fri., Apr. 28 – Albany at Toronto, 7:00
*Game 5 – Sat., Apr. 29 – Albany at Toronto, 7:00
*if necessary… All times Eastern

Another takeaway here is something people often forget about the AHL: the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs is best-of-5, not 7. It’s a deadly round for any team, and, unfortunately, the Marlies will start it on the road in Albany.

The St. John’s IceCaps qualify for the Calder Cup playoffs - EotP
Montreal’s AHL affiliate is finally headed back to the post season, and will battle for the Calder Cup.

Other News

Bruins 3 @ Senators 4 (OT)
Predators 5 @ Blackhawks 0
Flames 2 @ Ducks 3

One of those scores there stands out more than the others, and it’s a sign of a team in a crisis. The Hawks are in a full blown meltdown, starting the series losing both of their home games.

Who was that wearing Chicago’s uniforms? - Second City Hockey
The Blackhawks got absolutely crushed in a crucial game.

Bob McKenzie says there was a deal to trade Drouin for Shattenkirk - Raw Charge
McKenzie shares his thoughts on the future of the Tampa Bay Lightning and the possibility of trading Jonathan Drouin.

Players of Colour are making an impact in springtime hockey - Color of Hockey