5 Keys: Maple Leafs at Capitals, Game 2
Washington needs better start; Toronto to lean on goalie Frederik Andersen again
by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent
MAPLE LEAFS at CAPITALS
7 p.m. ET; CBC, NBCSN, TVA Sports, CSN-DC
Washington leads best-of-7 series 1-0
WASHINGTON -- Tom Wilson scored the game-winning goal 5:15 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Thursday.
Here are 5 keys for Game 2:
Mitchell Marner scored 1:35 into Game 1 and Washington trailed 2-0 before the first period ended. The Capitals were understandably not happy with their start and a few players admitted that Toronto's intensity from the start was a little surprising. Though they weren't rattled by the early deficit, Washington doesn't want to repeat those mistakes.
"There was a lot of looseness in our game, especially early," coach Barry Trotz said. "We've got to get that fixed up and tightened up. If we come out with the urgency that we need tonight, then hopefully you'll see a more complete game and go from there."
Washington's defensemen are encouraged to jump into a play when they see an opportunity, and Kevin Shattenkirk was a prime example of that in Game 1. Shattenkirk led the Capitals with nine shots on goal and challenged the net at every opportunity.
The Maple Leafs will need to be aware of Washington's offensive-minded defensemen at even strength and on the power play. They must limit odd-man rushes, where players like Shattenkirk thrive.
Andersen stopped 41 of 44 shots in Game 1 and was key to keeping the Capitals from pulling ahead when they mounted a comeback, including two saves on Shattenkirk in the third period and a big stop on Brooks Orpik in overtime. Both of Justin Williams' goals in Game 1 followed some confusion in front of Andersen, and the Capitals want to do more of that in Game 2.
"Obviously some tough bounces on the goals, but that stuff happens in playoff hockey," Andersen said. "It's just a matter of moving on and facing the next shot is going to be the most important thing for me and that's the most important thing no matter what the result was in the last game, it's a new game and you have to put it in the memory bag and wipe the slate clean."
Top line production
Washington's top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie was held without any even-strength points in Game 1, but Trotz isn't concerned. Oshie had an assist on the power play. That line was deployed against some tough competition but all three agreed they could do better. Trotz doesn't want to make too much out of one game without production and expects them to break through.
"We played one game," Trotz said. "We won. So I think we're making too much of a big deal about nothing right now. Let's let the series go on here. Let's give them a chance."
Trotz said before Game 1 he wasn't worried about matching lines with the Maple Leafs, but when the Capitals trailed by two goals in the first period, he changed his mind. Evgeny Kuznetsov's line was deployed predominantly against Auston Matthews' line for most of the rest of the game. Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock matched center Nazem Kadri's line against Ovechkin's line. Now that both coaches have an idea of what worked, they'll be looking to perfect those matchups in Game 2.
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 -- Matt Hunwick
Jake Gardiner -- Roman Polak
Martin Marincin -- Connor Carrick
Scratched: Alexey Marchenko, Ben Smith, Josh Leivo
Injured: Eric Fehr (hand/arm), Nikita Soshnikov (undisclosed), Nikita Zaitsev (upper body)
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
Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Paul Carey, Nate Schmidt
Zaitsev is expected to miss his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury.
Van Riemsdyk has four points (three goals, one assist) and 19 shots on goal in his past three games. … Williams has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak dating to April 4.
Caps Leafs in 7
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