Caps win tight series over Leafs to set up rematch with Pens

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For a moment, you could envision the next day's headlines, which would have inevitably focused as much on the Capitals' inability to close out a series as on the young Leafs forcing a Game 7.

It was the Capitals who got to nudge the Maple Leafs off the cliff after all, and they didn't need a Game 7 to do it. Maple Leafs G Frederik Andersen turned away 34 of 36 shots in the loss, and had a.915 save percentage in six games against Washington.

Capitals Coach Barry Trotz described his team as "chasing" through the first two games of the series, and part of that was because they lost a majority of the faceoffs in both Games 1 and 2. The Leafs faithful gave him a third standing ovation and encouragingly chanted "Fred-dy!" Every game could have gone either way. The place, as they say, went insane. "They've got a lot to look forward to". "That's something, mentally, you have to go through a little bit because every team is going, "We've got nothing to lose" and we're on the other side going, 'We've got everything to lose'". It's just a matter of time before the Leafs are mentioned in the same breath. I think we knew it more than most of the media and the general public. Tonight's goal was almost the flawless way to cap a rookie year the likes of which this franchise has never seen before, and one we may never see again in our lifetimes. They would do just that less than seven minutes in, as Johansson scored his second goal of the game and won the series.

"I think we left it all out on the ice", said Matthews. "They have a deep lineup and their forwards come at you". We're excited. We can't wait to get going.

In the process, Holtby, who stopped 37 of 38 shots, quieted most of the critics who had dared to question his play during the series. They made the playoffs by a single point and finished with the fewest wins of any playoff team, the highest goals against, and the highest shots against. It seemed like the best offensive chance would come from Toronto when they got the first powerplay of the evening, but it was nullified just 22 seconds into the PP when Tyler Bozak took a penalty on John Carlson which led to four-on-four play.

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Despite being an overwhelming underdog to win the series, Babcock's resilient squad stormed out to a 2-0 lead in game one before allowing the Capitals to score three unanswered goals to win the opening game in the series.

But first, some Game 6 miscellany: Biebz wuz there, which afterward caused much "bad luck" consternation amongst Leaf Nation.

"We just wanted to get control of the puck on the face off", Johansson said of the victor. "I thought we did a great job last summer to get us a goalie that we can call a franchise goalie".

TORONTO-In the two children's books he's authored, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman has always wanted to share a lesson. I mean, you get rolling, you start winning games, you get a streak together.

"I think we gave it our all", said Matthews. "It's obviously not the best feeling but we definitely have to be proud of each other in this locker room". With the win, the Capitals eliminated the Leafs 4-2 in the best-of-seven series and will now face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round.

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"Give them credit", he said. This is the last time it will be like this: the last first time this team could play with no expectations, had no real scars, had a glittering road stretching out in front of them for as far as they could see. They have a very good future.

On one hand, it's pretty great that they did as well as they did.

Earlier, Kadri rammed Ovechkin into the end boards. Holtby had 23 saves midway through the second period, which was just one fewer than he made in the entirety of his one-goal performance in Game 5. For the first time in the series, there was no scoring in the first period.

"Until you've been through the playoffs with players, you don't really know the level of the player you have", Babcock said, expressing pride at what his team accomplished. You can only successfully punch up for so long before you feel like you're sparring in the proper weight class.

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