Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Washington Capitals - 4/19/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction


The Washington Capitals appear to be feeling the pressure as they enter Game 3 of their first-round playoff series against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday at the Air Canada Centre. With little seemingly phasing them in this ever-so-tight playoff series with the Washington Capitals.

Pressure has been a topic with the Capitals due to their recent playoff failures.

Before the series Babcock was asked about the pest-potential of Wilson, who also scored the Game 1 overtime victor, and said: "Nothing against Wilson because he works hard and all that, but he's not as big a concern as lots of people on their team".

Toronto leads the best-of-seven series 2-1.

After more than 90 minutes of hockey, Kasperi Kapanen scored the second-OT victor as the Maple Leafs beat the Capitals 4-3 Saturday in the longest game of the playoffs so far. So they're not just a cinderella team in regards to the season but one in the entire playoffs. 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. "I love the way we responded when we got down".

"We're confident in here so we've just got to stick to it and sit still". We got on our heels right away tonight. "Now we go to Toronto with the mindset that we can play a hard, road, gritty style of game".

"I think at the end of the day that's what won us the game".

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The youthful Maple Leafs have used their speed to keep the Capitals on their heels.

With Roman Polak done for the season after suffering a right leg injury in Game 2, Zaitsev's return is that much more crucial.

Nikita Zaitsev (upper-body injury) will skate again Sunday and then will be re-evaluated. They know how to play. You got to focus on what you can do and play the system that we're supposed to. Toronto had the edge in some of the key stats, winning 61 of the 100 faceoffs that took place and they also had just 17 giveaways to 28 for Washington.

"Obviously, losing (Polak), you feel bad for the man and the kind of teammate he is and all that, (but) it's nice to get Zaits back and it's an opportunity for him".

Added Kapanen: "I'm really excited to go to Toronto to see how the fans are going to be for our two games".

"Whichever one is in, that's why you have eight", Babcock said.

Toronto is in a fantastic position to pull one over on the Capitals now that one of their best guys has returned to the lineup.

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"People can tell you they're not, I've lived it".

"I don't think they're a naive group", Kadri said. Braden Holtby hasn't been outstanding so far this series, but he'll bounce back in Game 4.

Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals. "He's been good, too". However, expect more traffic in front of the net. The first playoff series - a real series that comes after an 82-game schedule - in 13 years.

"[With] the growth of guys like Schmidt and [Taylor] Chorney and, obviously, we made a deal for Shattenkirk, I think that's a bigger strength for us than it was previous year", Trotz said.

"They're good guys and they're good players". Marner has points in all five career games against Washington. "I would rather go down swinging with my top-line players than not". "Sometimes, the guys who are a little bit more rested have a little bit more energy".

"Just a few extra reps in practice this morning, just a couple making sure you set your feet the correct way when you're trying to make plays up-ice", Schmidt said. They will want to make up for their bumpy start to Game 3.

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