Thursday night the Caps played their first Stanley Cup Playoff game at home against the Toronto Maple Leafs. It was not always a pretty game, and it went into overtime, which means the early-working ladies of FiCP didn’t get a game recap out in time. So here are some of the highlights of the game, as captured by Mel.
Warm up were great. You could tell the players were jazzed to be there. The crowd was ‘lit’ with glow torches, and there was an air of winning throughout the phone booth. John Carlson was back and paired up with Karl Alzner again.
And then the first period happened…
Toronto surprised, and silenced, the crowd with a 2-0 lead. Leafs Mitchell Marner scored his first NHL playoff goal and Jake Gardiner came in behind him to give them the two-goal lead. The second goal was initially waved off but after a review prompted by a Coach Babcock challenge, the goal was reinstated.
Coming back to the second period it wasn’t clear if the Caps were ready for this playoff game or not. Fans were moaning a bit, just as three-time Cup winner Justin Williams scored the first Caps goal of the night. He came back with a second goal right though Leaf’s goalie Craig Anderson’s legs to tie it up. We can’t help but keep watching that one.
Meanwhile – Caps fans were getting a kick out of seeing former Hersey Bear Connor Carick taking on some of his old pals. Lots of love taps, and then a few scrums to show he was no longer one of us. Oh and Happy Birthday Connor, who turned 23 Thursday.
Back to the game and the third period. Pretty much nothing happened there. The Caps out shot the Leafs. There were no penalties. By the end of the period we were off to overtime. And what an overtime it was!!
You may recall this statement earlier in the week…
We don’t expect to hear Babcock trash talk any more Caps players because it was Tom Wilson who brought it home with his first (unassisted) goal in the NHL Playoffs, and he is the “first Capitals player to scored his first playoff goal in overtime.” (NHL) We couldn’t be more excited for Wilson!!
For all the concerns expressed about Auston Matthews (34), he was relatively quite Thursday with one SOG.
So now we wait until Saturday at 7 pm EST to do it again. Caps have morning skae at 10:30 Saturday at Kettler.