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Caps Today and Top Game Notes, 4/21/17

April 21, 2017
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
Saint Nick – 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.

Holt-beast – 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.

Five Alive – 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
Dump n’ Chase: Caps And Leafs Tangle in Critical Game 5 on Friday / POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Caps 5, Leafs 4
Monumental Sports Network: Capitals Report 4/20/17 / Barry Trotz | April 20
CSN Mid-Atlantic: Pittsburgh Penguins Await Caps in the Second Round After Eliminating Columbus / Braden Holtby’s Playoff Stats Aren’t Very Holtby- Like / Will Nate Schmidt’s Play Keep Him in the Caps’ Lineup / Capitals Faceoff Podcast: A Whole New Series for the Caps?  / Barry Trotz Surprised by Disallowed Goal After Frederik Andersen Grabbed Nicklas Backstrom / Who Made the Better Save for the Washington Capitals, Tom Wilson or Braden Holtby? / Roenick Agrees on Giving Ovi More Ice Time / Roenick on Caps Win: ‘Huge Sigh of Relief in Locker Room’ / Roenick: ‘They Gave a Team They Should Blow Out…Confidence’ / Jeremy Roenick on Caps Must Win Game Wednesday Against Leafs / 4.19.17 Rewind: Caps Even Up Series Behind Wilson, Oshie
Washington Post: DC Sports Bog: The story of the Capitals fans who taunted Maple Leaf Square / Fancy Stats: Braden Holtby’s poor playoff performance isn’t all his fault / DC Sports Bog: Capitals-Maple Leafs Game 5 preview: Braden Holtby may be the key to taking control of the series / ‘It’s a pinball machine out there,’ and Capitals’ Braden Holtby has been on tilt / Capitals Insider: Once a playoff scratch, Dmitry Orlov has now emphatically earned the Capitals’ trust / Capitals Insider: Washington Capitals-Toronto Maple Leafs series guide: Everything you need to know
Washington Times: Trotz: ‘I think we’ve figured out how we have to play’
NHL.com: Nate Schmidt making most of chance in Capitals lineup / Braden Holtby of Capitals moving on to Game 5 / Rivalry Renewed: Phantoms-Bears add another chapter as playoffs begin
Associated Press: Pressure mounts for Caps, Leafs ahead of Game 5 / Penguins eliminate Blue Jackets, await winner of Capitals-Leafs series / Bower Power: Aggressive plays working out for goalies
ESPN: Washington winger Tom Wilson a villain to hometown Maple Leafs -- and unlikely hero for Capitals
NBC 4: Capitals Beat Maple Leafs 5-4, Tie Series at 2 Games Apiece
Japers’ Rink: Friday Caps Clips

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS CLIPS: 
CBC:  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
NHL.com:  Calder Trophy finalists unveiled / Leafs Remain Confident Ahead of Game 5Maple Leafs seek better start in Game 5 against Capitals
National Post: 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 
Sportsnet:  Maple Leafs, Capitals proving no lead is safeRazor-thin series leaves Capitals worried about bad bounces /  Unlikely hero Tom Wilson becoming a big concern for the Maple Leafs
TSN:  Leafs say lessons learned ahead of Game 5
The Athletic:  NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick says Capitals will ‘take it in six’ over underdog Maple LeafsMirtle: The Leafs need to adjust for Game 5 because the Capitals are figuring them out
Toronto Star:  Leafs sensation Marner keeps eyes on the prize: DiManno / Leafs make room for fun with reservations: FeschukMatthews, 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
Toronto Sun:  Off the rails earlyBabcock's last-minute choice — Toronto over Buffalo — looking genius in hindsightMaple Leafs-Capitals series turning out to be hit parade /  Maple Leafs' hopes of advancing might hinge on Ovechkin's impact /  A return to form is all Braden Holtby and the Capitals need
Washington Times: Matthews, Laine and Werenski are Calder Trophy finalists
Yahoo! Puck Daddy:  Tom Wilson among mounting concerns for Maple Leafs

GAME NOTES

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