Final score: Washington Capitals 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
How it happened: The story that will grab all the headlines and all the attention happened late in the first period when Nazem Kadri caught Alex Ovechkin with a hip check right to the knee.
Ovechkin had to be helped off the ice. T.J. Oshie would score on the resulting power play to put the Caps up 1-0. Ovechkin would shockingly return for the start of the second and play the remainder of the game. It would be Toronto, however, who would strike in the second period as Matthews netted a rebound goal to tie the game at 1.
Both teams were held scoreless in the third period forcing the fourth overtime in five games this series and Justin Williams finished off the Leafs just 1:04 into the extra period.
What it means: With the win, the Caps have retaken the series lead and have pushed the Maple Leafs to the brink of elimination. They will have a chance to finish the series in Game 6 in Toronto. According to Elias, when a series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 holds a series win percentage of 78.1-percent.
Caps goal: T.J. Oshie (power play) from Nicklas Backstrom and Kevin Shattenkirk at 18:15 in the 1st period. A dangerous hit from Kadri to Ovechkin put the Caps on the power play and a fired up Caps team made the Leafs pay. A wrister from Backstrom beat Andersen, but hit the post. Luckily for Washington the puck went right to the stick of Oshie who backhanded in the goal. Caps 1, Maple Leafs 0
Maple Leafs goal: Auston Matthews from William Nylander and Zach Hyman at 6:00 in the 2nd period. Nylander took the puck from behind the net and spun around for the quick shot. The Caps lost the rebound in the scrum, but Matthews didn’t He scored on the rebound as Holtby and the Caps tried to locate the puck. Caps 1, Maple Leafs 1
Caps goal: Justin Williams from Evgeny Kuznetsov and Marcus Johansson at 1:04 into overtime. Caps 2, Maple Leafs 1
3 Caps stars
1. Justin Williams: Williams had the only shot in overtime and he made it count.
2. Braden Holtby: The Caps netminder had his best game of the series. He was not dominant, but he made several key saves. It was the first time this series that he looked like the Holtby we all know.
3. Alex Ovechkin: The man is indestructible. Regardless of whether you thought the hit form Kadri was dirty or not, it looked rough. Those are the kind of hits that end a player’s season. Instead, it just ended Ovechkin’s first period.
Look ahead: The series now turns back to Toronto for what could be a decisive Game 6 on Sunday. Should a Game 7 be necessary, it will be in Washington on Tuesday.
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