After a 4-3 overtime loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Caps now find themselves locked in a 1-1 series tie. Here are three key takeaways from Game 2.
The conversation should not be about how quickly the Caps can beat Toronto
Toronto gave up a 1-0 lead, trailed 2-1 on the road against a deafening crowd armed with cowbells, Roman Polak suffered a serious ankle inury…and still the Leafs were able to battle back to tie the game and take the lead in the third period. Coming into this series, it looked like this was a total mismatch. You can no longer say that. Toronto said they learned they could play with the Caps after Game 1. That was even more evident on Saturday. As much as fans may want the Caps to finish this series off quickly, especially with Pittsburgh dominating Columbus the way they are, that can’t be the focus. Washington just needs to focus on winning and not worry about how quickly they can get it done.
Toronto’s defense suffered another blow
An already suspect defense for Toronto is now down another key piece as Mike Babcock announced after the game Roman Polak will miss the remainder of the season with a lower-body injury. He suffered the injury after a hit from Brooks Orpik in the second period. The Leafs already played Games 1 and 2 without Nikita Zaitsev. Can they survive another significant loss to the blue line?
Braden Holtby is making up for too many mistakes
Despite the loss and giving up four goals, Holtby was phenomenal again and he needed to be. The Caps are asking too much of their netminder with their play in the defensive zone. Washington continues to play sloppy in its own end with bad turnovers and passive play. Holtby nearly bailed them out with 47 saves, but had they played better in their own end, the outcome likely would have been different.
MORE CAPITALS: Penalties the early story of Caps-Leafs Game 2