Senators, Capitals win in OT to finish series

Senators, Capitals win in OT to finish series

Johansson had tied the game at 12:51 when his shot squeezed past Andersen. A sharp angle shot squeaked through Andersen and over the goal line.

The Vezina Trophy nominee was feeling the heat through the first four games of the Washington Capitals' first-round series against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It all provided the Capitals with a slightly distorted look at what's next, something they were anticipating long before the Leafs gave them a first-round scare.

Marcus Johansson scored his second goal of the game at 6:31 of overtime as the Washington Capitals defeated Toronto 2-1 Sunday to win their first round playoff series four games to two.

Yet again, as it has been in every game, the margin of victory was a single goal.

Johansson sent Toronto tumbling down yelling 'Geronimo!' and set the Capitals up for a second-round series, beginning Thursday, with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Getting to the point of naming him, though - or putting an interim captain in place - doesn't seem to be a high priority for Toronto. "I just thought we went for it", said coach Trotz. "You ask anyone, I think we'll take this break".

After Game 5, Babcock said the trio needed "to take a step here for us" and he can help that effort by giving the line plenty of starts in the offensive zone against the Capitals' lesser players. "But when we got in here and looked at one another (after the game), there's a lot of pride that can be taken".

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Toronto's power play was abysmal in Game 5 - 0-4 with four shots - but the unit did score in each of the previous three games and ranked second overall in the National Hockey League during the regular season. Give them credit, but a lot of them were unforced by ourselves. The bad old days of Salutegate were long forgotten.

This won't be easy for the Capitals, as they have to win on the road against a Toronto team that they haven't been able to beat by more than a goal in this series. "They know how far we've come and the effort we put into this".

The 19-year-old draft led all rookies with 40 goals and 69 points - both Leafs franchise rookie records. It was particularly interesting to see him play so well on the right side in this series because that could potentially open up some new avenues for improving the defence group as a whole. Not only did he get the game-tying goal in the third period, he got the game-winner as well.

"We didn't push them", said Babcock, talking about most of the third period and the overtime. "I was just lucky enough to be in the right spot", MacArthur said.

The Maple Leafs have been to the dance. I think for us the future is definitely bright. Toronto had the best chances during the opening period, but Alex Ovechkin had a close call in the final minute when Andersen dropped a save and lost it, barely managing to fall and knock it away before any Capitals found the rebound. But after talking earlier in the series about all the bounces that had gone against them, the Capitals' mindset did not waver. Kadri received a two-minute tripping penalty, and his coach Mike Babcock said he didn't think Kadri deserved even that much. The Leafs will have to fight complacency and the natural letdown by sophomore players, as well as sky-high expectations that will make the environment around them completely different than this magical season.

Someone else Ovechkin spoke to was Leafs centre Nazem Kadri.

"These games are good", Babcock said after an OT loss in Game 5 Friday night.

Like clock work, this game would go to overtime and would start with over a minute of 4v4 play. On Sunday night, Kadri and Ovechkin tangled briefly late in the second period. "Until you've been through the playoffs with players, you don't really know the level of player you have". You have to sacrifice your body to have success.