Toronto Maple Leafs (40-27-15) at Washington Capitals (55-19-8)
|Date & Time||Thursday April 13, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Capitals -198 / Toronto Maple Leafs +178 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Washington Capitals and Toronto Maple Leafs begin their Eastern Conference playoff series at the Verizon Center in DC on Thursday night.
The Maple Leafs lost their final game of the regular season to slip into the second wild card position in the Eastern Conference and earned themselves an opening round date with the league’s best team in a matchup they desperately wanted to avoid heading into their game with the Blue Jackets last weekend. Toronto has overachieved this season and are light years ahead of where many expected to find them this season as their rookie phenoms have taken over the league and while they may not have much of a chance to win this series in most circles, they have defied the odds all season and will be out to shock the world with an opening round series win against the President’s Trophy winners.
The Capitals meanwhile look to avoid another playoff collapse as they head into the Eastern Conference quarter finals against the Leafs as the odds on favourites to win the Cup and a heavy favourite to win this series. Washington is loaded across the board as they have so much depth offensively, a very underrated and serviceable blue line, and a goaltender in Braden Holtby who is the reigning Vezina Trophy winner and should be finalist for the award again this season as the league’s top goaltender. The Caps are big favourites in their series opener and will likely be on the wrong side of the odds for every game this series but rightfully so as they are so far ahead of the Leafs right now and should make quick work in this series.
The Leafs are 5-2 in their last seven against the Metro and 11-5 in their last 16 against the East while the Caps are 42-17 in their last 59 overall and 59-19 in their last 78 home games. Toronto is a nice story but they are in tough in this series and they don’t get off to a good start as the Caps cruise in game on