The Caps tied up their series with the Toronto Maple Leafs with a 5-3 Game 4 win. Here are three takeaways from the game.
1. Could this be a breakout series for Tom Wilson?
Wilson had a great goal line save and scored twice. He now has three goals this series, tying him for the team lead with Alex Ovechkin. Maybe Wilson is just playing out of his mind in front of his hometown team, but maybe this is more than that. Let’s not forget, Wilson is just 23 years old and was a first-round draft pick by the Caps. They did not take him that high for his fighting skills. While many have sold him as a thug or an enforcer, he is showing in this series he has more to offer.
RELATED: Wilson's heroics tie the series at 2
2. Another game-saving 5-on-3 penalty kill
Game 3 turned on a failed 5-on-3 opportunity for Washington. In Game 4, it was the opposite. Lars Eller took a penalty late in the second period as he tried to play the puck with his hand on a faceoff. Brooks Orpik took a slashing penalty just three seconds later to give Toronto 1:57 of a two-man advantage, 1:54 of which came on a clean sheet to start the third period. Braden Holtby looked shaky at points over the game, but he was the best penalty killer for that 5-on-3 with some huge saves to keep Toronto out of the net.
3. Third periods are a concern
In Game 3, the Caps and Leafs were tied at 3 and Toronto took it to them in the final frame, outshooting Washington 9-3. Game 4 the story was much the same…except worse. Toronto outshot the Caps 18-3 in the final 20 minutes as they poured relentless pressure on Holtby. When the Caps are pushing the tempo offensively, they give the Leafs fits. When they try to circle the wagons and play defensively, however, Toronto really steps up the pressure and outplays them. The Caps need to keep their foot on the gas offensively all game long because as soon as they don’t the Leafs take over.
MORE CAPITALS: Bogus call wipes out crucial Capitals goal vs. Leafs