WASHINGTON — The Toronto Maple Leafs were the best first period offense in the NHL this season, while the Washington Capitals were the best overall defense. In a battle between an unstoppable force and an immovable object, the unstoppable force had the early upper hand, as the Leeafs went up 2-0 in the first 10 minutes of Game 1 of the NHL Playoffs.
Mitch Marner struck first, less than two minutes into the game:
Jake Gardiner scored next on an unassisted shot on goal, which was initially, incorrectly, waved off for goalie interference. The call was challenged by Toronto, reviewed and overturned:
Just as the Caps fans at the Verizon Center began to panic, the pendulum swung back in their favor. A pair of penalties against the Leafs gave the Caps a two-man advantage on the ice, a position from which they scored twice during the regular season.
Two seconds after the five-on-three advantage went back to a power play, Caps winger Justin Williams fired a shot off the feed from T.J. Oshie and found the back of the net. This was the Caps’ first goal of the 2017 NHL Postseason: