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Capitals vs. Maple Leafs: Game 4 prediction
May 30 2017, 07:21 | Irvin Gilbert
Three games in, three overtime games, and nearly nothing separates the Maple Leafs and the Capitals - except a power play goal by Tyler Bozak in the second minute of overtime, giving Toronto a 4-3 win and a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.
(At) Nashville 3, Chicago 2, OT: Kevin Fiala scored on a backhander 16:44 into overtime, and the Predators rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the third period to push the Blackhawks to the brink of elimination in Game 3 of the first-round series.
Pressure has been a topic with the Capitals due to their recent playoff failures.
Where Alzner's absence was perhaps missed the most was on the penalty kill. First playoff goals for Kasperi Kapanen, two of them, for the kid who spent most of the season in the American League.
None of the seven, except for Zaitsev's first few minutes, looked in any way out of place.
There's no manual to detail this ambiguous standard that he's working tirelessly to drill home (though we're not privy to what might be under the players' stalls), but if you watched the Leafs' double-overtime triumph over the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of their opening-round series on Saturday night, you might have an idea. Maybe we have to take a page out of that textbook and do that a little bit.
"As far as the minutes go, we'll be fine", Rielly said. Toronto's back line has already been compromised with Nikita Zaitsev missing the first two contests of the series due to a suspected concussion, although the rookie may have let the cat out of the bag by posting (and later deleting) the following tweet: "See you soon Toronto".
"We want to break some new ground just like the Leafs are trying to do", Trotz said. "I think the way this is being coached by Mike Babcock right now, I'd say Mike Babcock is running the Capitals' show right now, he's changing their players when you look at what's going on with the line deployments". We've got to take care of those moments. "They'll get a lot of experience from (these overtime games) and it's cool for everyone".
For better or for worse, all the pressure is on the Caps. "Now I feel really good, so I can help the team".
The Maple Leafs do have an injury problem.
With Roman Polak done for the season after suffering a right leg injury in Game 2, Zaitsev's return is that much more crucial.
"I've lived both situations", Babcock said. It's not hard for the guys to figure out we're not playing right.
"You play all year, you create a foundation in order to get the job done in the playoffs". Today they were totally in control of the play, they had a lot of possession time, I thought they were unsafe, I thought they were skating. You can't play dirty, but when you have a good hit, it's fun. "It's no different than what they went through the other night". What prompted you to do that and keep them together the whole season? I live and die with him. "I've lived where you're the underdog and you're not supposed to win and I've lived where you're the best team in hockey and you're supposed to win, and they're totally different".
I'm telling you, this is a Cinderella story in the making and it's a handsome site. I don't think (the possibility of running around on the ice) is the case. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves. We all know how important that is due to how much Babs likes to match lines ultimately giving the Leafs the best chance possible to win. "He's been good, too". However, expect more traffic in front of the net.
Marincin was forced to exit with just under eight minutes left in regulation after getting tangled up with Tom Wilson. Same as the first game.
"We're going to give them a run for their money", Kapanen said. They've got a good attitude, they like to laugh, and they don't mind a good tightening once in a while to get them back on track. Should the Caps win either of those games, it will force at least a Game 6 in Toronto on Sunday.
A short while later a scary collision with Brooks Orpik knocked Polak from the game.
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