Tom Wilson has now played 29 Stanley Cup playoff games for the Washington Capitals. Prior to Thursday, he had yet to score a goal in the post-season.
That changed against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Game 1 of their first-round series. Wilson collected the puck along the boards and fired a shot over the shoulder of Frederik Andersen to give Washington a 3-2 overtime victory on home ice and a 1-0 series lead.
Yes, an unlikely hero for the Capitals. And probably a goal Andersen would like to have back.
Washington completed the comeback after a dreadful opening 10 minutes.
The Capitals are expected to go on a deep playoff run, favored to win it all. But the young and inexperienced Maple Leafs hardly looked intimidated in the first period, opening up a 2-0 lead as Washington struggled with bobbled pucks and giveaways.
That’s when an older hero re-emerged.
Justin Williams, 35, is known as Mr. Game 7 for his timely scoring ability in deciding games, but he got a head start with a pair of goals, getting the Capitals on the board late in the first period and the tying goal in the second.
During the first intermission, he told a Canadian reporter to “pump the brakes” on any assertion the Capitals looked nervous in the first 20 minutes of this best-of-seven series.
He then pumped the brakes on the Leafs lead.
Braden Holtby made 35 saves for the Capitals.