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Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs (W 4-1)

April 4 2017 at 6:28 PM

crowesnest  (Login reallycrowesnest)
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https://www.nhl.com/news/washington-capitals-toronto-maple-leafs-game-preview/c-288418610

Preview: Capitals at Maple Leafs
Toronto will clinch playoff berth with victory, Lightning loss; Washington could win Presidents' Trophy
by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent
1:45 PM

CAPITALS (52-18-8) at MAPLE LEAFS (39-24-15)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN4, CSN-DC, NHL.TV



Capitals team scope

The Washington Capitals can clinch the Metropolitan Division title, Eastern Conference and Presidents' Trophy if they defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs in regulation or overtime and the Columbus Blue Jackets defeat the Pittsburgh Penguins in any fashion. The Capitals, who are 8-1-1 in their past 10 games, could also clinch if they defeat the Maple Leafs in a shootout and the Blue Jackets defeat the Penguins in a shootout. However, coach Barry Trotz said the focus has never been on the Presidents' Trophy. "We haven't mentioned that once all year," Trotz said. "It was about finishing first in the Metro. It hasn't been in our vocabulary. It's been about being a better team, let's be a team that hopefully can take it to the next step." Goaltender Philipp Grubauer will start against the Maple Leafs. "They've really grown from the start of the year until now," Grubauer said. "You can see every line is dangerous and they have really skilled guys. If you don't pay attention, they can burn you fast." Forward Alex Ovechkin's next point will put him into sole possession of second place among Russian-born players on the NHL's all-time scoring list. He is tied with Alexander Mogilny with 1,032 points and is 147 behind Sergei Federov for first place.



Maple Leafs team scope

The Maple Leafs can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2013 if they defeat the Capitals in regulation or overtime and the Tampa Bay Lightning lose to the Boston Bruins in any fashion. The Maple Leafs, who have won four games in a row, can also clinch if they defeat the Capitals in a shootout and the Lightning lose to the Bruins in regulation. "We have the best fans in the world, we're very lucky to be here, we all feel very grateful to be able to wear the Maple Leaf. For us to clinch, it would be well deserved for our fan base," defenseman Morgan Rielly said. "It's been something we've wanted to do for a long time. We have an opportunity to do it here tonight but to be honest, the team doesn't talk about it that much. We just talk about winning games. We're going to go out tonight, try to do our job and win a game." Goaltender Curtis McElhinney will start the second of back-to-back games after Frederik Andersen made 20 saves in a 4-2 win at the Buffalo Sabres on Monday. "He's a great goaltender, I didn't see much panic in (our dressing room) when Freddie went down (last week)," defenseman Jake Gardiner said. "You've got to have two goaltenders and Curtis has been great for us all year." The Maple Leafs are 1-0-1 against the Capitals this season, winning 4-2 on Nov. 26 and losing 6-5 in overtime on Jan. 3.



Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Paul Carey, Taylor Chorney, Nate Schmidt

Injured: None



Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- Connor Brown

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- William Nylander

Matt Martin -- Brian Boyle -- Kasperi Kapanen

Morgan Rielly -- Connor Carrick

Jake Gardiner -- Nikita Zaitsev

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Curtis McElhinney

Frederik Andersen

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Alexey Marchenko, Ben Smith, Josh Leivo

Injured: Eric Fehr (hand/arm), Nikita Soshnikov (undisclosed)



Status report

The Maple Leafs did not hold a full morning skate. Andersen, Smith, Leivo, Marincin and Marchenko were the only players who took the ice. Soshnikov remains day to day.



Who's hot

Backstrom has 17 points (two goals, 15 assists) in his past 11 games. Oshie has five points (three goals, two assists) during a four-game point streak. Shattenkirk has 12 assists in his past 13 games. ... Van Riemsdyk has three goals during a three-game point streak. Nylander has 16 points (five goals, 11 assists) in his past 15 games. Matthews has six goals during a five-game goal streak and 12 points (eight goals, four assists) during a nine-game point streak. Kadri has five points (one goal, four assists) during a four-game point streak.


    
This message has been edited by reallycrowesnest on Apr 4, 2017 10:06 PM


 
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Marc
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:27 PM 

Gotta be careful with Auston Matthews, tonight. But Leafs will have to keep an eye on Oshie too: not only he's tied with Ovechkin in goals, but he scored his 33 goals in only 65 games. Before playing for the Caps, he was around 1 goal every 4 games. He's now at 1 goal every 2 games (every 3 games last season). He's also leading the league in shooting percentage (24.1%) among players with more than 10 goals (Marcus Johansson is 5th with 19.2% and Brett Connolly 7th with 19.0%).


    
This message has been edited by marc_mehdi on Apr 4, 2017 7:28 PM


 
 

crowesnest
(Login reallycrowesnest)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:31 PM 


 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:40 PM 

Game on! Let's go, Caps and Blue Jackets!

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:43 PM 

Carlson out, Schmidt in.

Ex-Caps: Carrick apparently on their top pairing, Fehr injured.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:44 PM 

Also: you're right this time, Grubauer in net for the first of these back-to-back games.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:46 PM 

Great shift by the 4th-liners. Too bad it was interrupted by the problem with the net.

 
 

crowesnest
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:48 PM 

Game on... Grubauer in net, Schmidt gets to play as Carlson is out day-to-day... finally a very good shift 4:00 in...

Caps to the PP at 14:32 left 1st.




 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:48 PM 

Caps with the early PP.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
Forum Moderator

Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:49 PM 

5 seconds of it, I mean, LOL. Backstrom to the box, 4-on-4.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:52 PM 

Good speed by the Caps in this first period.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:55 PM 

The problem with this speed on both sides is a lot of turnovers.

 
 

crowesnest
(Login reallycrowesnest)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 7:55 PM 

Well that lasted all of :05... thug Backstrom... all killed... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... another good shift at 11:00 left... another good shift... 9:08 TV timeout.

 
 

crowesnest
(Login reallycrowesnest)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:04 PM 

Woohoo!

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:04 PM 

Eller!!! Nice shot. 1-0 Caps.

To conclude a couple of good minutes for the Caps.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
Forum Moderator

Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:07 PM 

Ovechkin with two huge hits in the same shift. The first one was a bit out of the picture, but I saw the second one coming, LOL.

 
 

crowesnest
(Login reallycrowesnest)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:07 PM 

Pretty good road period again. They look playoff ready.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:11 PM 

Matching slashing penalties, 4-on-4 again.

 
 

crowesnest
(Login reallycrowesnest)
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Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:12 PM 

Hahaha looked behind him, but he got it.

 
 

Marc
(Login marc_mehdi)
Forum Moderator

Re: Game 79 at Toronto Maple Leafs

April 4 2017, 8:13 PM 

Great shot by Oshie. Their goalie checked if the puck was not behind him, hehehe.

 
 
 
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