Maple Leafs' rookie trio just too much to handle for tired Capitals

Less than two minutes later, it was Toronto who owned the moment after Tyler Bozak's power-play goal lifted the Maple Leafs to a 4-3 win and 2-1 series lead.

The Capitals had a fantastic crowd behind them for Game Two, but the Leafs have hosted just three playoff games in the last 12 years.

Tyler Bozak scored the overtime victor after the Leafs dug out from deficits of 2-0 and 3-1, controlling large swaths of play against a team that piled up 55 wins and 118 points during the regular season.

"A couple years ago I got booed off the ice at the end of a game in my hometown, so we've crossed that one off the list", Wilson said last week.

Matthews pulled the Leafs back within one about four minutes later with his second of the playoffs, but Oshie increased the deficit back to two when he beat Andersen 59 seconds after that.

Babcock took advantage of home-ice in Game 3, getting the unit away from the Capitals' top trio of defenders - John Carlson, Matt Niskanen, and Dmitry Orlov - and matching them a bit more against their third unit pairing of Kevin Shattenkirk and Brooks Orpik.

This should be an excellent game and expect the goal tenders to play well.

Maple Leafs goal: William Nylander from Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman at 19:20 in the 2nd period.

"It's been insane for them, but this is where you want to be", said Leo Komarov of the rookies.

Once again, fans will converge at Maple Leaf Square to party with other fans and watch the game on the big screen on Monday. Kasperi Kapanen scoring yet another important goal in his few National Hockey League games this season.

That showed on the first goal of the game, when Schmidt raced toward Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen on a two-on-one with Backstrom just 2:43 into the game. It'll be a great environment. you'll get chills down your spine when you're on the bench for both teams. "He's a good player for us".

After missing Game 3 with an upper body injury, the same injury will keep him out for Game 4. Perhaps it should be just as concerning what the team will look like should they win.

The Leafs head back to Toronto for Game 3 on Monday night feeling like they've got a shot to not only make some noise, but possibly even beat the best team in hockey during the regular season.

"And obviously now if you talk to our guys, our guys think they're a good hockey team", Babcock said after the latest victory, Toronto's first on home ice in the playoffs in almost four years. It was Washington that won the majority of battles and races, those in white sweaters often hogging the puck for long stints in the Toronto zone. I thought we played with lots of energy and lots of emotion. He played in all 82 of Toronto's regular-season games this season, tallying up 36 points (four goals, 32 assists). The first playoff series - a real series that comes after an 82-game schedule - in 13 years.

According to, the Leafs will have an 86 percent chance of winning the series if they take Game 4 on Wednesday.

"I think we've proven to everybody that we can play with these guys", Leafs fourth liner Kasperi Kapanen said. It speaks to how rare playoff games in Toronto have been recently that it was only 10 Maple Leafs playoff games ago that Tucker leveled Sami Kapanen in the final game of a 2004 second-round series loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Hoffman and Brassard scored just 25 seconds apart in the first period and exploited a depleted Boston defense to give Ottawa an early 2-0 lead. "And that's our focus going into the next game".

"I think the adjustments aren't there", May responded.

"We've got to re-focus here, and make sure we're anxious about us, about our structure and our foundation, and that will get the job done".

  • Julie Sanders