Playoff Roundup: Capitals, Bruins take big overtime wins over Maple Leafs, Senators
- Friday night saw a player known for big goals score one more, while another made the first two tallies of his career count.
The man with the reputation for being clutch came through again in the clutch.
Justin Williams, known as ‘Mr. Game 7’ for his playoff heroics, scored in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 5.
Williams took a feed from Evgeny Kuznetsov in the slot and slid it through Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen at 1:04 of the extra period, ending a tense game that featured chippy play from both sides.
Toronto forward Nazem Kadri drew the ire of the Capitals late in the first period following a low check on Alex Ovechkin that sent the Russian winger to the locker room and put Kadri in the penalty box for tripping. T.J. Oshie scored on the ensuing power play, putting a big rebound past Andersen.
Ovechkin was back on the ice for the second period, though the boost was short-lived as Auston Matthews notched the equalizer six minutes in. From there, the teams traded big chances and physical play until the buzzer sounded on the third period.
From there, Williams’s penchant for big goals came in handy—though he maintained that it was all just part of the job.
“I haven’t scored that many big goals,” he said. “I was in the right place at the right time.”
The victory gives the Capitals a 3-2 series lead and a chance to close things out in Toronto with Game 6 on tap for Sunday.
Here’s what you might have missed on Friday’s two-game docket:
Bruins 3, Senators 2 (2OT) | OTT leads 3-2
Sean Kuraly’s first NHL goal was certainly a big one.
With the Bruins in a 2-1 hole and facing elimination late in the second period, he banked the puck off of Senators defenseman Chris Wideman, which redirected behind goalie Craig Anderson to even the score at two apiece.
It took just 53:14 for Kuraly to one-up himself: The rookie, with all of eight regular season games under his belt, swatted a rebound past Anderson to give the Bruins the win in double-overtime.
The win wasn’t without controversy, however, as Boston thought it has scored a winner twice in overtime. On the first, Kuraly was ruled to have interfered with Anderson before Noel Acciari jammed home a loose puck, and then Senators forward J.G. Pageau made a goal line stop before sitting on the puck in the crease.
The complaints were made moot, however, thanks to Kuraly’s second of the night.
The series returns to Boston, where the Bruins will try to even things up in Game 6 on Sunday.
Highlight of the Night, Part I
Frederik Andersen’s glove hand will be facing grand larceny charges after the season is over.
Highlight of the Night, Part II
The Senators are really perfecting the home-run pass against the Bruins.
Quote of the Night
This Caps-Leafs series is going seven, and no one is pretending otherwise.
"See you in a couple days."— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) April 22, 2017
Mike Babcock said this to every staff-member at Verizon Center as he walked to the team bus.
3. Erik Karlsson (OTT) - The Senators’ Everything Man played a game-high 41:51, including almost nine minutes on special teams. Get the man an IV of Gatorade.
2. Justin William (WSH) - Deny the Mr. Game 7 moniker all you want, man. You’re the clutchiest clutch to have ever clutched.
1. Sean Kuraly (BOS) - The rookie stepped up in David Krejci’s absence, leading the way on offense and netting a pair of humongous goals.