Roundup: Wilson plays overtime hero as Capitals top Maple Leafs in opener

Friday April 14th, 2017

For a second night in a row, a young, star-studded team from Canada built an early 2-0 lead only to see a playoff victory get snatched away in overtime. Last night it was the Edmonton Oilers losing to the San Jose Sharks, 3-2. Tonight it was the Toronto Maple Leafs’ turn, losing 3-2 on the road against the Washington Capitals.

Mitch Marner and Jake Gardner gave the Leafs a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the franchise's first postseason game since 2013. But Justin Williams answered twice to draw things even, his second goal coming with four minutes left in the second period.

Washington had numerous opportunities to break free and take the lead in the final 20 minutes of regulation, but Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen singlehandedly kept the Maple Leafs’ in the game. Andersen’s netminding wasn’t always pretty in the waning minutes, but it got the job done and ensured overtime.

Andersen’s luck ran out a little more than five minutes into the extra period. That’s when Toronto-native Tom Wilson rifled a shot into the back of the net from near the right faceoff circle to give the Capitals the Game One win.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

Here’s a look at the rest of the action from Night Two of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

NHL
2017 NHL playoff schedule

Predators 1, Blackhawks 0 | NSH leads 1-0

The Western Conference’s top seed left the United Center in Chicago Thursday night with a 1-0 series deficit. Viktor Arvidsson’s first-period goal and Pekka Rinne’s 29 saves were just enough to take down the Chicago Blackhawks, 1-0.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

Ducks 3, Flames 2 | ANA leads 1-0

Just when you thought the Calgary Flames were finally going to pull it off and beat the Anaheim Ducks, they came up short yet again. A sloppy second period—headlined by a poor line change that gave the Ducks a three-on-none rush and eventually a goal—cost the Flames a 2-1 lead and the game. Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg each had a goal and an assist for Anaheim as the Ducks won at home.

Full recap | Box score | Highlights

Highlight of the Night

NHL
Championship season with Lethbridge still a golden memory for Mike Babcock

Quote of the Night

“I wouldn’t say our bench was. Maybe the arena was. You need to seriously pump the brakes a little bit. It ’s the first period of what we expect to be a long series.”

—Justin Williams on whether the veteran-filled Capitals were ‘tight with gusts up to nervous’ to start Game 1 against the Maple Leafs.

Three Stars

3. Ryan Getzlaf (ANA) A goal, an assist, a plus-one rating and a win. Not bad for a night’s work.

2. Tom Wilson (WSH) Wilson’s name probably wasn’t the first to come to mind for Caps fans looking for an overtime hero, but hey, unsung heroes are what the Stanley Cup Playoffs are all about.

1. Justin Williams (WSH) For as important as Wilson was in Washington’s come-from-behind victory Thursday night, it was Williams’s two goals earlier in the game that kept the Capitals alive. 

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