Cam Tucker

Video: Leafs goalie Andersen gets physical, drops Connolly with a hit

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It was only a few days ago that Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen left a critical regular season game after a collision involving Tom Sestito.

Andersen was hurt in a must-win game and didn’t play the next day, either.

Fast forward to Thursday’s Game 1 between the Leafs and Capitals, and there was Andersen deciding it was time to apparently get physical. He knocked over Washington forward Brett Connolly as he went speeding into the zone in on the forecheck.

It worked out well for the Leafs, who transitioned the puck up ice. It may have also provided some anxious thoughts for Toronto’s fans, too, given Andersen was hurt just last weekend.

Andersen’s been busy, too, stopping 36 of 38 shots through regulation as this game goes to overtime. Justin Williams, Mr. Game 7, is getting a head start with a pair of goals so far in the opener.

Video: Anxious start for Capitals, as Mitch Marner opens scoring for Maple Leafs

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The young and inexperienced Toronto Maple Leafs certainly don’t look intimidated by the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals — at least through the first half of the opening period in Game 1.

The Maple Leafs had the perfect start on the road.

Mitch Marner opened the scoring with his first career Stanley Cup playoff goal just 1:35 into the game, silencing the Capitals crowd.

A perfect start for the visitors has meant an anxious start for the Capitals, the Stanley Cup favorites, who have been guilty of some bad turnovers through 10 minutes in the first period.

The Maple Leafs went up 2-0 at the 9:44 mark of the period. Jake Gardiner beat Braden Holtby with a shot, but the goal was at first waved off due to goalie interference. The call was eventually overturned after a review.

WATCH LIVE: Three games on tonight’s Stanley Cup playoff schedule

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The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs got off to a thrilling start Wednesday, and the fun continues tonight with a trio of games on the schedule.

You can watch every game tonight online courtesy of the NBC Sports Group.

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals

Time: 7:00 p.m. ET

Network: USA Network (Stream online here)

Nashville Predators at Chicago Blackhawks

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

Calgary Flames at Anaheim Ducks

Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

Network: NBCSN (Stream online here)

PHOTOS: Stanley Cup visits Grand Central Station, surprises commuters in New York

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There are 16 teams left vying for the Stanley Cup, however hockey’s silver chalice was on display Wednesday in New York.

On the same night the first round of the post-season began, the Stanley Cup made an appearance at Grand Central Station and then made the trip from Manhattan to Stamford, CT., surprising commuters on the Metro North train, as part of NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

Mike Richter, who backstopped the Rangers to a championship in 1994, also posed for pictures with the Stanley Cup.

Despite OT win, puck possession was ‘the issue’ for Blues in Game 1

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What transpired for the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday probably won’t lead them to sustained success in these playoffs.

After a fairly even opening period, the Blues were badly outplayed and badly outshot (52-26 overall),  but escaped Game 1 against the Minnesota Wild with a 2-1 overtime victory thanks to the spectacular play of goalie Jake Allen.

He stood on his head in a game that could’ve been a complete blowout, a disaster for the visiting team.

Blues vs. Wild: Stream on NBC Sports

This is where Allen’s performance ranks in Blues history for most saves made in a playoff game. That would be Curtis Joseph at the top, certainly a busy guy during the 1993 post-season.

The Wild were only able to beat Allen once, with Zach Parise scoring the tying goal with 22 seconds remaining in regulation. Yet, they took the positives away from an otherwise dominant performance.

“If we play like that every game, more often than not we’ll get the right results,” Devan Dubnyk told the Pioneer Press.

Blues coach Mike Yeo certainly acknowledged a huge disparity in puck possession. The Wild had 90 shot attempts, while the Blues had only 57.

“I think we can do a much better job in some areas,” said Yeo. “We didn’t have the puck enough and that’s the issue. But we know that we have to be better. We can’t just rely on Jake (Allen) to have a performance like that night after night, but I’m certainly encouraged that we got the win.”