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Caps Today and Top Game Notes, 4/17/17

April 17, 2017
The Washington Capitals face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre tonight. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal on Saturday against Toronto, passing Peter Bondra (13) for first place on the Capitals playoff power-play goals list. In addition, Ovechkin ranks tied for ninth among active NHL players in career playoff power-play goals (14). The Moscow native has registered 83 points (42g, 41a) in 86 career playoff games and ranks first in franchise postseason history in goals (42), points (83), power-play goals (14) and power-play points (36). In addition, Ovechkin ranks tied for fourth among active NHL players (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals per game (0.49) and tied for fifth in playoff points per game (0.97). He has earned 17 points (8g, 9a) in 13 career Game 3s and has earned more points in Game 3 than any other game of a series.

Top Game Notes
Bouncing Back – Braden Holtby has posted two shutouts, a 1.72 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage in his playoff career following a loss. Washington posted a 16-6-4 record during the regular season following a regulation, overtime or shootout loss and Holtby registered an 11-4-3 record with one shutout, a 2.09 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage in 2016-17 following a loss.

Rising to the Occasion – Braden Holtby made 47 saves on Saturday against Toronto, tying his postseason career high (5/2/12 vs. NYR). In addition, Holtby’s 47 saves are tied for the fifth most in a game in franchise playoff history. Holtby has posted four shutouts, a 1.89 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage in 48 career playoff games. He ranks first in NHL playoff history (min. 30 games played) in career save percentage and tied for fifth in career goals-against average. In addition, Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals-against average and save percentage. Holtby has allowed two goals or fewer in 32 of his 48 career playoff games and Washington has posted a 21-11 record in those games. He ranks first in franchise history in postseason wins (23) and games played (48).

Saint Nick – Nicklas Backstrom scored a goal on Saturday against Toronto, marking his 21st career playoff goal. Backstrom is now tied with Dino Ciccarelli (21) for fourth place on the Capitals playoff goals list. In addition, has earned 63 points (21g, 42a) in 85 career playoff games and ranks third in franchise postseason history in points and tied for third in assists. Backstrom ranked second in the NHL in assists (63) and multi-assist games (15) during the 2016-17 season and ranked fourth in points (86). In addition, he led the NHL in points since Jan. 1 (56). Since 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the NHL in assists (540) and ranks second among active NHL players (min. 200 GP) in career assists per game (0.74).

Familiar Foes – Justin Williams has registered eight points (3g, 5a) in eight career playoff games against Toronto. Williams has earned three points (2g, 1a) in two games this series and recorded five points (1g, 4a) in six games against the Maple Leafs in the 2003 Eastern Conference quarterfinals, including three points (1g, 2a) and the game-winning goal in Philadelphia’s 6-1 victory against Toronto in Game 7 of the series.

Three’s Company – Alex Ovechkin has earned 17 points (8g, 9a) in 13 career Game 3s. Ovechkin has earned more points in Game 3 than any other game of a series. In addition, Nicklas Backstrom has tallied 12 points (3g, 9a) in 13 career Game 3s.

Must Read/See/Hear Material
Dump n' Chase:  Scene Shifts to Toronto for Game 3 on Monday /  POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Leafs 4, Caps 3 (2OT)
Monumental Sports Network: Barry Trotz Conference Call 4/16/17
CSN Mid-Atlantic: Barry Trotz Says He May 'Tweak' the Caps' Lineup Ahead of Game 3  / How an Icing Call Cost the Capitals Game 2 / Slow Starts Haunt Caps as Series Shifts to Toronto  / Maple Leafs Fan Really Loves the Maple Leafs
Washington Post:  William Nylander was raised by the Capitals. Now, he’s trying to eliminate them. / DC Sports Bog: Capitals-Maple Leafs Game 3 preview: Can Washington regain control of this series? /  The Capitals expected a long series vs. Toronto, even if no one else did
Washington Times:  Capitals head to Toronto in unexpectedly close series
Associated Press:  Playoff hockey back in Toronto as Wilson plays the villain
Japers' Rink: Monday Caps Clips  /  The Narrative: Face Offs, Dominance and Deployments

Associated Press:  Maple Leafs look to ramp up pressure on Capitals
Canadian Press:  Leafs to get relief with Zaitsev's possible return for Game 3
National Post:  Toronto Maple Leafs are even with Washington Capitals because Frederik Andersen has been the better goalie /  ‘It’s on’: Toronto Maple Leafs don’t have powerhouse Washington Capitals doubting themselves — yet Maple Leafs depth will be tested /  Barry Trotz, Mike Babcock put friendship aside
Sportsnet:  Leafs’ Nikita Zaitsev a good bet to return for Game 3
The Athletic:  From Dublin to England and home: Leafs playoffs lead to a family reunion for Connor BrownLeafs prep for Game 3 with fleeting promise from Nikita Zaitsev: ‘See you soon Toronto!’ /  ‘Dart Guy’ has become the hero Maple Leafs fans needMaple Leafs coach Mike Babcock: ‘Life is way easier when you don’t feel any tightness’
Toronto Star: Babcock and Trotz take friendly rivalry to another level / Leafs discovering share of Stanley Cup playoff gemsMaybe Leafs blue line isn’t so thin after all: Arthur /  Game 3: Capitals at Maple Leafs, Monday preview
Toronto Sun: 'We have a lot of belief': Capitals have no doubts with series tied against pesky Maple LeafsLeafs fourth liners coming throughSpeedy Mitch Marner allowed Leafs to carry onMaple Leafs skating on a thin blue line / Trading Phil Kessel paying dividends for Leafs in Frederik Andersen, Kasperi KapanenHoly smokes! Hard-core Maple Leafs fan puts big-time passion on display for Game 2These Leafs keep you young
TSN: Leafs D Zaitsev skates again, status TBD / Leafs D Zaitsev hints at potential returnDespite depleted defence, Babcock not worried