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Stanley Cup Daily 4/24: One Down, One To Go

It will be Caps and Penguins again, while the Bruins and Leafs prepare for a back-to-the-future Game 7.

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Each day during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Canes Country recaps the night before, previews the games for that night (when there are any to preview!), and gives you game times and broadcast information.

Monday’s Recaps

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Boston Bruins at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs 3, Boston Bruins 1 (Series tied 3-3)

Prior to Game 6, defenseman Ron Hainsey vowed that the Toronto Maple Leafs would play their hearts out for their city in light of the tragic events that took place in Toronto on Monday. They stayed true to their word.

On home ice, the Maple Leafs picked up a 3-1 win and, against all odds, forced a Game 7 back in Toronto on Wednesday. After a scoreless first period, it was Boston’s Jake DeBrusk who scored the game’s first goal, but William Nylander responded just moments later. Late in the period, Mitch Marner lit the lamp and gave the home team a 2-1 lead through 40 minutes.

The third period may have been the Leafs’ best period of the series. They constantly had bodies and sticks in shooting lanes, frustrating the road team in the offensive zone at every turn. The defense and Frederik Andersen (32 saves on 33 shots) held strong and Tomas Plekanec netted an empty-net goal to secure a 3-1 win.

The two teams will now have a Game 7 at TD Garden on Wednesday. Anything can happen, so this will assuredly be a phenomenal finish to what has been an exciting back-and-forth series. - Brett Finger

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Washington Capitals at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals 6, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (WSH wins series 4-2)

After Game 5, Columbus Blue Jackets head coach, John Tortorella, guaranteed a Game 6 win. However, Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals had other plans, ending the series with four straight wins capped off by a 6-3 win in Columbus.

The game was close through the first two periods. Scoring was opened up in the first period by Dmitry Orlov, who took advantage of a tuckered out top line of the Blue Jackets. He skated around Artemi Panarin at the circle to get to the slot and buried a slap shot glove side.

The Blue Jackets answered midway through the second period with a goal from Nick Foligno, but the Caps, for once, didn’t Cap. Ovechkin came back just minutes later to score his 50th career playoff goal on a rebound. Then another costly penalty by Columbus led to a power play and Ovechkin’s 51st playoff goal from a one-timer from the circle.

The Blue Jackets looked like they were going to make another third period come back with an early third-period goal from Pierre-Luc Dubois, but the wheels fell off. The Caps scored two more goals within three minutes of Dubois’ goal including a shorthanded goal from Chandler Stephenson and a high glove-side shot from Devante Smith-Pelley. After that, the writing was on the wall.

All night the Caps went at Sergei Bobrovsky’s glove hand and it worked. Three of the Caps five goals with Bobrovsky in net beat the goaltender on the glove side. Additionally, the Blue Jackets fell victim to their own mistakes in Game 6 like they had all series. They took costly penalties at crucial points in games, including a penalty when they were down one right after giving up a goal. They were shorthanded 27 times in the series, more than any other team in the playoffs.

The Caps will now face the Pittsburgh Penguins in the second round of the playoffs, while the Blue Jackets are left to ponder a blown 2-0 series lead that resulted in them still waiting for their first-ever series win. - Zeke Lukow