This is the final week of the regular season. After tonight there are only two more games until we get to our first round opponent the, uh...well we still don't know.
What we do know is the Leafs won't see the Capitals until next season or, knock on wood, the Eastern Conference Finals.
John Tavares sat this game out as a maintenance day.
The Leafs come out hard, try to get the first goal early and have some good defensive moves early on.
Engvall breaks in for the first shot of the game for the Leafs pic.twitter.com/AJx3qE0nAL— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Matthews lifts the stick and disrupts the scoring chance pic.twitter.com/1fofoTcvUo— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
It doesn't pay off however, as TJ Oshies scores first for the Capitals.
T.J. Oshie scores first pic.twitter.com/2YDNp3HqW3— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Ilya Lyubushkin makes up for that right away when Marner passes to the defender and he scores to tie the game.
ILYA LYUBUSHKIN 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
TIE GAME pic.twitter.com/WMCnq881O7
After the goals, the teams play it safe with nice shots, good defense and no more goals on the period.
Källgren makes the first save and fights for the rebound pic.twitter.com/egzR7OGMb9— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
Only one penalty, with Justin Holl roughing up TJ Oshie, but the Leafs safely killed the penalty.
Ilya Lyubushkin went to work on that penalty kill— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 24, 2022
pair of clutch blocks pic.twitter.com/dyQAuNcnB6
After one, it’s all tied up 1-1.
The second period is a bit more Leafs than Caps to start, but the Leafs shots are either missing the net or getting blocked. When the Caps do get a chance, Erik Källgren makes the save that's needed.
The shot bounces off Lyubushkin's leg but Källgren makes the save pic.twitter.com/KdtMTMzlO0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
It looks like the Leafs tie the game after Jason Spezza scores, but the play is reviews and the goal gets waved off due to offsides.
Jason Spezza was robbed. What a shot!— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
cursed offside pic.twitter.com/2S7JXO0J1T
The second is very slow and methodical, the crowd is quiet and the Caps are trying to be safe to get the win so they can move up into a divisional playoff spot and not face the Florida Panthers as a wild card team.
Ilya Mikheyev and Alexander Ovechkin collide and Mikheyev goes off and is icing his thumb on the bench, but comes out for his next shift.
Mikheyev is in some pain on the bench after this collision pic.twitter.com/JD1bhGM1Rb— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
Lyubushkin is committed to keeping Ovechkin off the scoresheet, but ends up paying the price with a hooking penalty. On the power play TJ Oshie redirects a shot into the Leafs net for his second of the night.
the goal is called back— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
hand pass from Carlson to Backstrom pic.twitter.com/y0le7dqzNN
This one gets challenged because John Carlsson made a hand pass to Niklas Backstrom before the goal, and it’s waved off. Still tied 1-1.
The second ends with two no-goals, tied at ones.
To start the third Ovechkin gets a break away, Källgren makes the save and pokes Ovie as he skates by, Ovie takes a fall into the boards, has a lie down, and cries for a penalty when one isn’t handed out. He’s pulled from the game after this.
Ovechkin went into the boards after getting tripped up with the stick while Källgren tried to stop him pic.twitter.com/YXl1lfQPdF— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
The Maple Leafs hem the Caps into their end, but Vitek Vanacek makes the needed saves. In a change of pace, Lars Eller scores a goal that counts, so unfortunately it’s now 2-1 Capitals.
Lars Eller makes it 2-1 pic.twitter.com/8t4eDqYB6I— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
Then, Marcus Johansson gets around the Leafs defence and backhands a puck into the net to make it 3-1.
Marcus Johansson. 3-1 pic.twitter.com/dtTr1IvDTg— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
The Capitals take control of the game, trapping the Leafs in their own end, and making takeaways when the Leafs escape. The red shirts own the puck now. Some larceny may be necessary.
The Leafs steal the puck and take it to the Capitals zone where Ilya Mikheyev skates around the entire end before coming back to the net and putting the puck five-hole on Vanacek for this 20th of the season to bring the Leafs within one.
Mikheyev goes for a skate and sends it five-hole pic.twitter.com/5MKiLEvGrF— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
Right off the face-off Lars Eller gets called for holding TJ Brodie, so the Leafs head back to the power play, but the Leafs make it 0-11 on the season against Washington and don’t score despite a couple of close chances.
The Leafs turn on the offence for the final two minutes, pull the goalie and after a minute of six on five, Jason Spezza scores a goal that counts to tie the game and we head to overtime for the second straight night. That’s his 500th career road point.
JASON SPEZZA 🚨— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
ENTER SAGE MODE! TIE GAME! 57 SECONDS LEFT pic.twitter.com/OA7W3nXIb7
Auston Matthews almost ends the game, but it goes just off the post.
a strong rush from Matthews goes off the post pic.twitter.com/lkpERWJCwD— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
OT starts a little slow until that chance for Auston. Halfway through OT it’s a little more grindy than we want three on three. TJ Oshie comes in slow, the Capitals form a triangle in the zone. Rielly loses his stick, but it gets in the way of the pass so the Caps can’t take advantage.
Then! With two minutes left in OT we get a Maple Leafs special in a Too Many Men penalty, so Washington will get a four on three for the remainder of overtime.
The Capitals power play completely controls the play, forming a diamond around the zone with the Leafs making a triangle in the middle to try and block the passing lanes. After a save that stops play, Rielly dumps it out, killing a few easy seconds of the man advantage for Washington. No goal.
glove save from Källgren pic.twitter.com/dU59rJkYiC— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
The Maple Leafs enter their fourth shootout of the season.
Evgeny Kuznetsov shoots first for Washington, and comes in very, very, very, slow with lots of little puck movements and scores.
Jason Spezza has an “I’m too old for that shit” moment and just scores a goal without being flashy.
JASON SPEZZA— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
Backstrom shoots wide.
Auston Matthews hits the post again. No goal.
TJ Oshie shoot third and Källgren makes the save and then bats the puck out of the air.
Källgren makes two saves on the same attempt pic.twitter.com/wHyUOCbqM0— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) April 25, 2022
William Nylander comes in close, but loses the puck when he’s at the net.
Anthony Mantha shoots wide.
Ilya Mikheyev gets blockered.
John Carlson is easily stopped.
Mitch Marner tries to go high backhand but gets stopped.
Marcus Johansson doesn’t score.
Pierre Engvall neither.
Trevor van Riemsdyk, nothing.
Alex Kerfoot finally ends it. Thank you.
The Toronto Maple Leafs come back from being down two goals with a late third period rally, and win it in the shootout.
Ooph, that game got real exciting at the end.
The Maple Leafs win their 52nd game of the season, with a chance at 53 coming Tuesday night against the Detroit Red Wings.
See you then!