The Toronto Maple Leafs couldn’t grab the torch from the Washington Capitals in this series, but they put up a tremendous struggle.
Auston Matthews continued to make an impression with a goal in his fourth consecutive game, yet it wasn’t enough to send this scintillating series to a Game 7. Instead, Marcus Johansson collected tying and game-winning goals, leading Washington to a 2-1 OT win to take the series 4-2.
Here is video of the tally that ended Toronto’s season:
While the Capitals taking on the Pittsburgh Penguins is “expected,” the path to get there wasn’t as many drew it up. Toronto gave Washington all it can handle in a series that tied a record with five trips beyond regulation.
The Maple Leafs can take heart in pushing the play for large spans of the series, although there have also been spans where it felt like the Caps found that extra gear.
Toronto fans who’ve been longing for a return to playoff glory must be experiencing mixed feelings. This young bunch achieved more than just about anyone expected, particularly in this series against the Presidents’ Trophy winners. That might be why it burns, though; Buds fans deal with the bitter feeling of so close.
Then again, the Capitals know all about that. They hope to avoid repeating such history in this huge opportunity. Perhaps facing a far tougher-than-expected challenge to start things off might be a blessing in disguise?