The Capitals face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center tonight in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. The series is tied 2-2. Washington has won three consecutive Game 5s when the series is tied 2-2 (2012 ECQF, 2013 ECQF, 2015 ECQF).
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal on Wednesday at Toronto, extending his goal streak to three games (4/15-4/19: 3g). This marks the fourth time in Ovechkin’s playoff career he has recorded a goal streak of three games or longer. The Moscow native ranks first among active players (min. 40 GP) in career playoff goals per game (0.50) and tied for fourth in career playoff points per game (0.97). Ovechkin ranks tied for fourth in the NHL in goals this postseason (3) and has earned 85 points (44g, 41a) in 88 career playoff games. He ranks first in franchise playoff history in goals and points, fifth in games played and tied for fifth in assists.
Top Game Notes
– Nicklas Backstrom earned two assist on Wednesday at Toronto, marking his second consecutive multi-point game (4/17 at TOR: 1g, 1a) and franchise-leading 10th career postseason multi-assist game. With his second assist on Wednesday, Backstrom passed Scott Stevens (44) for second place on the franchise playoff assist list. He now sits three assists shy of passing Dale Hunter (47) for first. On Monday at Toronto, Backstrom passed Dino Ciccarelli (21) for fourth place on the Capitals playoff goals list. The Gavle, Sweden, native ranks second in Capitals playoff history in assists (45), third in points (67), fourth in goals (22) and sixth in games played (87). He has earned a point in three consecutive games (4/15-4/19: 2g, 3a) and has tallied 17 points in his last 17 playoff games (5/13/15-4/19/17: 4g, 13a).
Two for Tom –
Tom Wilson scored two goals in the first period on Wednesday at Toronto, marking his first career multi-goal game (regular season or playoffs, 345 GP). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wilson is the first Capitals player to score two goals in the first period of a playoff game since Matt Bradley on April 24, 2009 vs. NYR (2g). Wilson has scored three goals in four games this series after recording two assists in his previous 28 career playoff games. The Toronto native ranks tied for third in the NHL in goals this postseason.
Osh With the Most
– T.J. Oshie scored two goals on Wednesday at Toronto, marking his third career postseason multi-goal game and his second with Washington (4/28/16 vs. PIT: 3g). Oshie has earned a point all four games this postseason (4/13-4/19: 2g, 4a), marking his longest point streak in a single postseason in his career. Dating back to last postseason, Oshie has earned a point in six consecutive playoff games (5/7/16-4/19/17: 4g, 5a).
The Everett, Wash., native has recorded 16 points (8g, 8a) in 16 career playoff games with Washington after recording nine points (5g, 4a) in his previous 30 playoff games.
– Braden Holtby made 30 saves on Wednesday at Toronto, marking his 27th career postseason game with 30 or more saves. Since he made his postseason debut in 2011-12, Holtby ranks tied for second in the NHL in 30-save playoff games (Henrik Lundqvist: 30). Wednesday also marked Holtby’s 50th career postseason game, becoming the first goaltender in franchise playoff history to reach the 50-game plateau. The Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, native has posted four shutouts, a 1.97 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage in his playoff career and ranks first in Capitals postseason history in wins (24) and games played (50). In addition, he ranks first in NHL playoff history (min. 40 games played) in career save percentage and fifth in career goals-against average. Holtby also ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff save percentage and tied for first in career playoff goals-against average.
– The Capitals have won three consecutive Game 5s when the series is tied 2-2 (2012 ECQF, 2013 ECQF, 2015 ECQF). Braden Holtby has registered a 1.65 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage in seven career Game 5s and Alex Ovechkin has earned 10 points (6g, 4a) in 12 career Game 5s.
Must Read/See/Hear Material
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Friday Caps Clips
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS CLIPS:
Maple Leafs try to embrace the opportunity of now in Game 5
Globe and Mail:
Maple Leafs suddenly find themselves with little margin for youthful errors
Calder Trophy finalists unveiled
Leafs Remain Confident Ahead of Game 5
Maple Leafs seek better start in Game 5 against Capitals
The winner and loser of Mike Babcock’s post-Detroit decision comes into sharp relief as the Sabres’ axe falls
‘He’s come a long way’: Nazem Kadri has emerged as a force since Toronto Maple Leafs’ last taste of playoffs
Maple Leafs, Capitals proving no lead is safe
Razor-thin series leaves Capitals worried about bad bounces
Unlikely hero Tom Wilson becoming a big concern for the Maple Leafs
Leafs say lessons learned ahead of Game 5
NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick says Capitals will ‘take it in six’ over underdog Maple Leafs
Mirtle: The Leafs need to adjust for Game 5 because the Capitals are figuring them out
Leafs sensation Marner keeps eyes on the prize: DiManno
Leafs make room for fun with reservations: Feschuk
Matthews, Laine, Werenski crack Calder Trophy shortlist
Leafs get physical with Ovechkin, with mixed results
Maple Leafs know there's not much margin for error against Capitals
Nate Schmidt making case to stay in Capitals’ lineup
Opportunity knocks while young Leafs are taking notes: Arthur
Off the rails early
Babcock's last-minute choice — Toronto over Buffalo — looking genius in hindsight
Maple Leafs-Capitals series turning out to be hit parade
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Yahoo! Puck Daddy:
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