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.
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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
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.”
Jake Allen was spectacular in Blues OT win over Wild
But they couldn’t outscore the Blues — at least not tonight — and that was because of Allen. Remember all the issues in net he was having earlier in the season? That seems so, so long ago now.
Allen was brilliant, backing St. Louis to a 2-1 victory and a 1-0 series lead on the road.
The Blues were badly outshot 52-26 but their netminder stopped all but one shot he faced and, at times, did so in spectacular fashion — like the second-period stop he made on Charlie Coyle, throwing out the glove and stacking the pads on a prime scoring chance in front.
There was an overtime scramble in which Allen somehow kept the puck out of the net.
There was also an insane scramble around his crease in the third period. After he made the initial save, it appeared Zach Parise inadvertently curled the puck off the goal line and back out toward the slot, as St. Louis escaped another scare in the defensive end.
Parise redeemed himself by scoring the tying goal with 22 seconds left, finally solving Allen and sending this game to OT. But Edmundson won it and Allen was rewarded for a 51-save effort. ‘Effort’ is a bit of an understatement.
Back from the KHL, having signed a three-year deal in St. Louis last week, Vladimir Sobotka scored the opening goal.