WASHINGTON — Few times during the sports calendar do three of Washington, D.C.’s big four sports teams play on the same night. Even less frequently do two of them have so much as stake, and almost never do all three teams win. That’s what made Wednesday night so special.
Washington Capitals 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 4
For the Capitals, it was a long 48 hours between blowing another overtime game in the postseason and a chance of redemption vs. the Maple Leafs.
Tom Wilson and T.J. Oshie each scored two goals, and the Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4 on Wednesday night to tie their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.
Alex Ovechkin added his third goal of the playoffs as the top-seeded Capitals regained momentum with the series shifting back to Washington for Game 5 on Friday night. Braden Holtby made 30 saves.
It was similar to Game 3 when Toronto also went down 2-0 in the first five minutes, but the club was unable to recover this time around. The Capitals added two more goals in the first in a span of less than three minutes — both by Wilson, a Toronto native.
Zach Hyman, James van Riemsdyk, Auston Matthews and Tyler Bozak scored for Toronto, which was coming off a 4-3 overtime win on Monday night. Frederik Andersen stopped 22 shots.
The Maple Leafs rallied after the Capitals scored four times in the first for a 4-1 lead. Bozak, who had the winning goal in Game 3, got Toronto within one with 26 seconds left, but Washington held on from there.
Washington Wizards 109, Atlanta Hawks 101
The Wizards took care of business on Sunday, protecting home court in Game 1 of the first round of the playoffs. On Wednesday, they could either win and depart for Atlanta with a full head of steam, or they could have the series evened against them.
In a rough-and-tumble, foul-filled game, Bradley Beal took over in the fourth quarter with 16 of his 31 points, including a key late 3-pointer, helping the Washington Wizards beat the Atlanta Hawks 109-101 on Wednesday night for a 2-0 lead in their Eastern Conference first-round series.
John Wall earned chants of “M-V-P!” while finishing with 32 points and nine assists, including the dish to Beal for his shot from beyond the arc with 38 seconds remaining that sealed the win for the hosts.
Washington, which trailed 78-74 entering the final period, won despite only a combined seven points from starting forwards Markieff Morris and Otto Porter Jr., who were both in foul trouble early.
The series now shifts to Atlanta for Game 3 on Saturday.
Washington Nationals 14, Atlanta Braves 4
The season is young, but the Nats came into Wednesday riding a tw0-game winning streak and a chance to extend a lead in the NL East. They did so in dramatic fashion.
Bryce Harper got the Nationals on the board in the bottom of the first with a solo home run off of Julio Teheran. Amazingly, the Braes actually took a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning, before Teheran imploded in the top half of the second inning.
Harper, who hit his sixth career home run off him in the first inning, came right back in the second inning, with the bases loaded, and did it again, in grand slam fashion. This opened up a 5-2 lead and the Nats never looked back.
In fact, Ryan Zimmerman drilled a grand slam of his own, the sixth of his career, giving him 840 RBIs for his career. This moved him past Montreal Expo Andre Dawson for second on the franchise’s all-time RBI list. It was also the first time the Nats have hit two grand slames in a game since July 27, 2009, at Milwaukee, when Josh Willingham hit both.
The Nationals ended up banging out 20 hits, a new season high for a single game, and the most Washington has collected since June 16, 2015, vs. the Tampa Bay Rays. Harper had four of those hits, tying a career high, and pushing his consecutive games with a base hit to eight. This is one short of his career best (nine), which he has achieved twice.
The trifecta win wasn’t lost on the Nationals, who tweeted out this graphic:
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