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Capitals finish off Maple Leafs in overtime behind Marcus Johansson's two goals

Capitals finish off Maple Leafs in overtime behind Marcus Johansson's two goals

Final score: Washington Capitals 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1

How it happened: After two periods without a goal, Auston Matthews was the recipient of an incredibly fortunate bounce as the puck caromed off the boards into the slot on a dump in. The Caps, however, would respond five minutes later as Johansson snuck a goal through the pads of Andersen and just over the goal line.

Of course the game went to overtime.

The Caps tilted the ice in their favor and took control of the game in overtime. Finally, Johansson netted his second of the game to finish the game and the series.

What it means: The Caps have won the series 4-2 and will advance to face the Pittsburgh Penguins in round two. Since 2008, Washington is now 6-15 in games in which they can clinch a series.

Goals

Maple Leafs goal: Auston Matthews from Morgan Rielly and Zach Hyman at 7:45 in the 3rd period. An innocent dump-in took an unfortunate bounce for the Caps as it hit off the boards and right in front of the net to a waiting Matthews who didn't waste the opportunity. Caps 0, Maple Leafs 1

Caps goal: Marcus Johansson from Lars Eller and Brooks Orpik at 12:49 in the 3rd period. Eller took the puck into the offensive zone and carried it left, then dropped it for Johansson. He fought off an initial stick check and went in on net. The shot was stopped by Andersen, but it just trickled through the pads on over the line. Caps 1, Maple Leafs 1

Caps goal: Marcus Johansson from Justin Williams and John Carlson at 6:31 into overtime. Caps 2, Maple Leafs 1

3 Caps stars

1. Marcus Johansson: When you see Matthews score a goal like he did in the third period, it would have been so easy for the Caps to wilt. Instead, they battled back and Johansson pushed the goal through the pads of Andersen. He then finished off the series with his second of the game.

2. Justin Williams:  Mr. Clutch wanted this series to end and he played like it with another strong game.

3. Braden Holtby: After a shaky start in which a few puck trickled nervously through the Caps' netminder, he rebounded tremendously with a strong game. He made several key saves to bail out a defense that continually gave up bad turnovers in the defensive zone.

Look ahead: Games 1 against the Penguins will be in Washington on Thursday with Game 2 on Saturday.

Watch the game? Tell us what you thought!

MORE CAPITALS: Ovechkin and Kadri get tied up again

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!