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Friday Stanley Cup Daily: Whew!

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Two top seeds overcame significant scares to go up 1-0 in their series last night.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals - Game One Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Canes Country’s morning snap shots recapping last night’s action in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.


Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals - Game One Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Washington Capitals 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2 (OT) (WAS leads series 1-0)

The Toronto Maple Leafs came into Verizon Center without many giving them a chance to win the series. But then, the Leafs came out quick and furious to grab a 1-0 lead with a Mitch Marner goal under two minutes into the game to silence the crowd. The silence turned to outright panic eight minutes later, when Jake Gardiner doubled the Leafs’ lead. For the rest of the first period, the speed and skill of the Leafs rookies gave the Caps fits, and the crowd was feeling like they were watching a movie they’d seen way too many times before.

The Caps were able to claw back from a two-goal deficit off the back of playoff legend and former Hurricane Justin Williams, who scored two goals in the game, his first coming three minutes after Gardiner scored to at least plug the leak. Williams then scored again in the second, his fourth career playoff multi-goal game. The Caps thoroughly outshot the Leafs 13-7 in the third, but couldn’t beat Frederik Andersen who sent the game into overtime. In overtime, Tom Wilson followed in Tanner Glass’s footsteps of playing unlikely hero just six minutes into the extra frame. The game winner was Wilson’s first career playoff goal.

The series will continue in Washington, D.C. tomorrow night at 7:00. -Zeke Lukow


NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Nashville Predators 1, Chicago Blackhawks 0 (NSH leads series 1-0)

The Predators rode a stellar first-period performance, in which they scored the game's only goal, to outlast and shut out the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center. The surprise of the victory is compounded by Nashville's lack of road production on the year--they came into the game with the worst road record among all playoff teams.

The Predators' highly effective "JOFA" line of Ryan Johansen, Filip Forsberg, and Viktor Arvidsson showed up in a big way right off the bat, dominating possession and netting the game's first goal as Arvidsson tipped home a Forsberg shot/pass early into the first frame.

After the first period, though, the Blackhawks began doing Blackhawks things —outshooting the Preds 23-9 in the final two periods and winning 56% of all face-offs, specifically. But Pekka Rinne stood tall in the Nashville net, facing down all 29 shots including a flurry with under a minute to go after several ill-advised icings taken by his teammates. Corey Crawford stopped 19 of 20 shots at the other end.

Game 2 takes place again in Chicago on Saturday night. -Peter Dewar


Calgary Flames v Anaheim Ducks - Game One Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Anaheim Ducks 3, Calgary Flames 2 (ANA leads series 1-0)

It looked like the Calgary Flames would end their 27-game losing streak at the Honda Center on Thursday night, but alas, that didn't happen.

The Flames saw a 2-1 second period lead quickly dissipate and turn into a 3-2 loss at the hands, or should I say the webbed feet, of the Ducks thanks to late second-period goals from Rickard Rakell and Jakob Silfverberg.

After a slew of late penalties on the Ducks, John Gibson held off a huge flurry of pressure from the Flames in the final frame, including a pair of big-time stops on Matthew Tkachuk and Johnny Gaudreau in the dying seconds of regulation time. Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and an assist on the night and Gibson stopped 30 of the 32 shots that he faced.

Game 2 of the series is set for Saturday night at 10:30 pm at the Honda Center. -Brett Finger