Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-0 8pts) v. Washington Capitals (2-1-1 5pts)
Toronto Maple Leafs:
Patrick Marleau — Auston Matthews — Kasperi Kapanen
Zach Hyman — John Tavares — Mitchell Marner
Par Lindholm — Nazem Kadri — Connor Brown
Josh Leivo — Frederik Gauthier — Andreas Johnsson
Morgan Rielly — Ron Hainsey
Jake Gardiner — Nikita Zaitsev
Travis Dermott — Igor Ozhiganov
Scratched: Justin Holl, Martin Marincin, Tyler Ennis
Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Chandler Stephenson
Jakub Vrana — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky — Lars Eller — Brett Connolly
Dmitrij Jaskin — Nic Dowd — Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitry Orlov — Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny — John Carlson
Brooks Orpik — Christian Djoos
Scratched: Madison Bowey, Nathan Walker, Jayson Megna
Injured: Travis Boyd (lower body)
Suspended: Tom Wilson
Capitals Penalty – :40 – Jakub Vrana 2 minutes for Hooking
Maple Leafs – 5:56 – Travis Dermott 2 minutes for Interference
End of 1st – TOR – 0 WAS – 1
Shots 9 10
Faceoffs 7 12
Hits 4 12
PP 0/1 0/1
The Capitals got a good start by getting a quick goal 18 seconds into the game. Plus the Capitals are doing a good job of playing the body and making it difficult on the Maple Leafs. However, they are leaving the slot open, and the Maple Leafs are taking advantage of that, but Braden Holtby has been on top of his game.
The Maple Leafs played a lot of this period in the Caps zone. Played a pretty decent defensive game and a solid puck possession game. There was not much to hate about this period. Other than 18 seconds into the period a defensive lapse led to a very easy tap in.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to play better in their own zone and protect the crease area better. They allowed the Maple Leafs one too many golden chances to tie this game and they need to play tighter. The Capitals also need to break through Toronto’s neutral zone trap and generate some more chances in the offensive zone.
The Maple Leafs need to continue to play their game. They hit a post and Holtby robbed Kasperi Kapanen point blank as well as Zach Hyman and John Tavares. This game could easily be 2-1 Toronto, stick to the game plan.
Maple Leafs Penalty – 4:17 – John Tavares 2 minutes for Tripping
Capitals Penalty – 8:22 – Lars Eller 2 minutes for Slashing
End of 2nd – TOR – 2 WAS – 2
Shots 14 19
Faceoffs 16 19
Hits 10 19
PP 0/2 1/2
This was a very good period for the Capitals. They tightened up defensively and capitalized on their lone powerplay of the period. However, they did give up two goals this period, and gave up the second one late in the period which let’s Toronto back into the game.
The Maple Leafs took a step back this period. Too many giveaways against a dangerous team like Washington. Toronto was trying to be too pretty. Washington came out to push the tempo and did exactly that. Yet the score remains 2-2.
Need to Do:
The Capitals need to stick to the script. They tightened up defensively and caused the Maple Leafs to cough up the puck several times, but a defensive lapse late in the period allowed the Leafs to tie the game at 2.
Puck possession is the game plan and the Leafs had zero of it in that period. They need to attack the defence don’t let them carry the puck out of the zone. Be aggressive. Cycle. Don’t be fancy.
Capitals Penalty – 5:47 – Michal Kempny 2 minutes for High Sticking
Maple Leafs Penalty – 7:44 – Nikita Zaitsev 2 minutes for Holding
Maple Leafs Goal – 18:21 – Auston Matthews (10) from Kasperi Kapanen (4) and Morgan Reilly (10)
End of 3rd – TOR – 4 WAS – 2
Shots 28 27
Faceoffs 23 26
Hits 14 28
PP 1/3 1/3
After two strong periods for the Capitals, they laid a dud in the third. For the first 15 minutes of the third period the Maple Leafs dominated the Capitals. However, after the Leafs took the lead for the first time tonight, that was when the Capitals started forcing the play. Too little too late though as Auston Matthews would net his 10th of the season to secure the 4-2 win for the Leafs. Capitals need to play a full 60 minutes to guarantee a win in this League, and the Capitals did not do that tonight.
The Leafs once again came out flying throwing 13 shots at Braden Holtby and containing Alex Ovechkin, who was clearly frustrated. The depth of the leafs came through tonight with Kasperi Kapanen , Par Lindholm and Josh Leivo and of course Matthews puts the icing on the cake. Frederik Andersen was shaky the first 2 periods but came up big in the 3rd. The defence looked solid tonight and its beginning to round in to form. Igor Ozhiganov looks like he’s is hard to take the 6th defender spot hard and looked fantastic tonight.
Washington (2-2-1 5pts) v. New York Rangers (1-4-0 2pts)
Toronto (5-1-0 10pts) v. Los Angeles (2-2-1 5pts)