The Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Washington Capitals in double overtime 4-3. This game really showed the resiliency of this Leafs group. They lost a key defender in Roman Polak in the second period, they blew the lead in the third, but managed to fight their way to a victory after playing an extra 31 minutes with five defencemen. Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner played for 2 full periods worth of minutes, Frederik Andersen made 48 saves, and Kasperi Kapanen scored 2 goals.
The Leafs showed the Capitals that they can keep up and forced them play two overtime games at home. That is phenomenal. Not only are the Maple Leafs starting to chip away at the Capitals’ mental strength and confidence, they are making an older team play way more hockey. Yes, there are no back to back games in the playoffs, but they basically played the equivalent of three playoff games in three days. That is really hard on the body, especially when you consider what a mental and physical strain playoff hockey is.
Luckily for the Leafs, they are a young team and they’re playing with nothing to lose. They already gained a lot of respect from that win last night and their confidence must be sky-high right now.
In many ways, they are playing these games to make Washington’s life miserable. I still believe that Washington will eventually win the series, but the Leafs will not go down without a fight.
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