Round One between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Capitals was touted as the most lopsided head-to-head matchup leading into the 2016-17 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Leafs, however, have proven that despite their inexperience, they have the desire to push the Caps to the brink. Each of the first three games of the series went to overtime, with the Leafs winning two of three. Heroes for the Leafs have been unlikely in 20-year-old Kasperi Kapanen, who scored his second and third career NHL goals in Game 2, including the OT winner, and Tyler Bozak, who’s known more for his passing abilities than scoring, but managed to net the winner in Game 3.
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The Washington Capitals were the best team in the NHL in 2016-17. They were a defensive and offensive juggernaut through the regular season, ranking 6th in team offense and 8th in team defense. Despite that dominance, the Caps carry a reputation for not being able to perform in the playoffs, and that history seems to be following them in a series that most projected wouldn’t go past five games. The Capitals will be looking for more offence from their stars and better goaltending from Braden Holtby. Game time is 7:00 PM ET on CBC.
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