Once more, the Capitals have proved their ability to overcome ridiculous calls from the referees in their 6-5 OT win tonight against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is just another example of the Caps’ mantra this year – Will Over Skill.
The first period got off to a good start with some beautiful passing and stick-handling, which led to Justin Williams scoring a little over a minute in with a deflection off of Dmitry Orlov’s shot. The energy was high and shots were being taken. And then the penalties started. Brett Connolly was the first to go to the box, five and a half minutes in, for hooking. This led to Toronto’s first goal from Kadri, a minute later. After five more minutes, Brown gave the Maple Leafs another goal. T.J. Oshie answered soon, though, after an incredible pass from Williams, who had just left the penalty box for cross-checking, scoring sixteen minutes in. It was only two minutes later, however, that Ganthier gave Toronto the lead again.
The second period was kicked off with a goalie switch, Philipp Grubauer going in for Braden Holtby. Once more, a penalty was called within the first few minutes, Evgeny Kuznetsov being called for high-sticking. Later on, Matthews would put the Leafs on the PK for tripping. Mere minutes afterwards, Alex Ovechkin was called for tripping as well and this power play for the Leafs would lead to Komarov scoring. Then, a huge group scrap would send put Ovechkin back in the box for four minutes for roughing (half of this penalty was served by Andre Burakovsky) and Kadri in for cross-checking. It was at this time, the end of the second, that fans realized that the referees were completely against the Caps.
Wilson would then be called for hooking about seven minutes in. Next, eleven minutes in, Marner brought the Leafs back into the lead. It was a beautiful goal from John Carlson, though, three minutes later, that would send this game into overtime, where Ovechkin, twenty seconds in, would score the game winning ot goal.
Photos by Mel Abernethy