Senators, Capitals win in OT to finish series

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The series was consistent until the end: close.

Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) scores against Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the third period of Game 6 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup first-round playoff series in Toronto on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

With that many buyers and that few sellers, it's a sure thing the price for a top-four defenceman will at least be equal to the one paid a year ago by the Edmonton Oilers for Adam Larsson: forward Taylor Hall, the first overall pick in the 2010 entry draft.

The Capitals will face Sidney Crosby's Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round. He tied the game with his first goal of the series in the third period and notched the victor on a rebound at 6:31 of overtime.

Toronto has seven rookies, including the trio of linemates Auston Matthews, Zach Hyman and William Nylander.

"You just saw a little opening over his pad", Johansson said. "This is the playoffs".

The Leafs quickly managed the easy part of any rebuild, going from doormat to playoff contender. "You expect our group to get better". But the wait was worth it. Fiala, who has two goals, scored the overtime victor in Game 3 against the Blackhawks.

Said Lamoriello: "I think what we did - and I did - is looked at what Naz could bring as a player and what his capabilities are".

So... if you were the Leafs, wouldn't you see an opportunity, too? We can do a better job. Eastern Conference. The Maple Leafs are 11-5 in their last 16 games playing on 1 days rest and 1-8 in their last 9 home games vs. a team with a winning road record. What worked in the regular season often doesn't work when the play gets chippier, the checking becomes tighter and the referees put away their whistles. "Until you've been through the playoffs with players, you don't really know the level of player you have". Every loss you learn from.

"Our young guys are good", he ultimately concluded.

It was a game in which the goaltenders were tested.

Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen will also skip the World Championships after turning down Team Denmark.

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The difference so far has been the power play, where the Capitals are 5 for 15 and the Maple Leafs are 3 for 17.

Holtby had to be quick to get a pad on a Tyler Bozak shot. This is just a step in the right direction. "I was fortunate for it to go in".

The response from Toronto fans, Leaf players after the game and head coach Mike Babcock quickly segued from disappointment to pride and optimism, as the club exceeded all expectations in making the playoffs and pushing the two-time President's Trophy winners to six games; five of which went to overtime. "It's not like I stuck my knee out or got my arms high or anything like that". "They have a deep lineup and their forwards come at you". They set a standard of expectancy, not just for the short term, but for the seasons to come.

We've entered the third season of the annual South Point-lined Play of the Day competition, effective July 1.

Rielly believed the playoff experience offered lessons in what it was like to play a quality team six times and thrive in the intense post-season atmosphere.

Naturally, Andersen, terrific all night, slammed the door on the Caps soon after when he snared a shot by T.J. Oshie.

Cassidy, who served out the season as the interim coach, said he "absolutely, 100 percent" wants to be back.

"I think we definitely turned a lot of heads with where we were and where we are now", added Matthews.

Washington defenseman Karl Alzner missed his third straight game Friday with an upper-body injury, although he participated in the morning skate Friday. He continues to be listed as day-to-day.

David Pastrnak had the other Bruins' goal, while Mark Stone scored his first goal in 20 games for the Senators and Jean-Gabriel Pageau also found the back of the net in regulation.

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