Washington Capitals vs. Toronto Maple Leafs Game 6 Preview
Where: Air Canada Centre – Toronto, ON
When: Sunday, April 23, 2017 – 7:00 PM ET
TV Broadcast: NBCSN, SN, TVAS, CSN-DC
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Betting on the Washington Capitals
After scaring fans of having yet another early playoff exit, the Capitals are continuing to pull through. They are now just one win away from advancing following Friday’s 2-1 overtime victory over the Maple Leafs. It was the fourth time in the series’ five games that an extra period was needed.
Another nail-biter for the Caps and its fans, aside from the sudden losses and string of OT games, is Alex Ovechkin hurting his knee/leg upon receiving a hit from Toronto’s Nazem Kadri. He left the game, but was able to return, offering a retaliation to Jake Gardiner. Ovi is a clear go for Sunday.
The Caps have Justin Williams to thank for in the series tiebreaker. “Mr. Game 7” lived up to his clutch identity and hit the game-winning score just 64 seconds into OT, increasing his total goals during Game 5s, 6s, or 7s to 16.
TJ Oshie was responsible for Washington’s other goal. Nickolas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Evgeny Kuznetsov, meanwhile, each had one assist.
Braden Holtby, who has been getting tested a lot by the Maple Leafs, had his most efficient game of the series, with only one goal allowed. He has 160 saves in the 176 shots he has faced throughout the playoff matchup (.909 save percentage). Look for the veteran to have more confidence facing guys in Game 6.
Though lauded for being one of the most potent offenses in the league, Washington has been showcasing a smashmouth brand of hockey as of late, as they have recorded more hits than Toronto in each of the series’ five contests, and more takeaways in four of the five.
Betting on the Toronto Maple Leafs
The Maple Leafs once had a great chance of a memorable upset, now almost all of it have evaporated, as their backs have been put against the wall after the Game 5 defeat. It’s again evident why they are the upstarts and the Capitals are the elites.
What they are holding on to right now is Game 6 being on their home ice, which may help. They are 2-2 at home against the Caps all year, with the scores combining to 14-13, in favor of Washington.
In trying to push for a seventh and deciding game, we can expect the Leafs to rely heavily on their sensational youngster, Auston Matthews. The rookie has been consistently efficient in his debut year. He has three goals and three assists in all of his matchups with the Caps.
Toronto will also be hopeful that Tyler Bozak, Mitch Marner, Jake Gardiner, and William Nylander will also continue to perform well. The four among the team’s point leaders in the playoffs, with each having one goal and multiple assists – Bozak fired had the game-winning, OT goal in Game 3.
As for the defense, it hasn’t been at the highest level, but shouldn’t be deemed as a big fault since the Caps are as explosive they can come. Frederick Andersen, like his counterpart in Washington, has given up plenty of goals in the series – 159 saves in 177 shots faced (.898 save percentage).
The Caps win and advance in the second round, 4-2.
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