Toronto Maple Leafs (42-28-16) at Washington Capitals (57-19-10)
|Date & Time||Friday April 21, 2017, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Washington Capitals -214 / Toronto Maple Leafs +186 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The Washington Capitals look to retake the series lead with the Toronto Maple Leafs as the teams meet up in DC on Friday night for game five.
The Maple Leafs spoiled a glorious opportunity to head back to Washington with an opportunity to clinch the series and pull off the massive upset as they clawed their way back to within a single goal after being down 4-0 in game four, but a costly turnover from Connor Brown that led to the game winner proved to be the difference as Washington evened things up at two games apiece. The Leafs now face a tough task as they have to win one of their next two games in Washington or their magical season will come to an end as this has become a best of three series and while the Buds have already proven they can win at the Verizon Center, they have let the Caps back into the series and with this one being played in Washington you can be sure the Caps fans will be fired up.
Washington meanwhile is playing with a ton of pressure on their shoulders as they have become synonymous with playoff underachievement and while they were the odds on favourite in this series, the Eastern Conference, and to win the Stanley Cup they haven’t been playing like it as the Leafs have been the better of the two teams through four games. However, the Caps are always primed to having a huge offensive outburst and with this game being so crucial to the outcome of the series you can be sure guys like Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, and goaltender Braden Holtby will be out to have their best games of the series in order to preserve home ice advantage.
The Leafs are 4-1 in their last five Friday games and 43-89 in their last 132 road games while the Caps are 51-15 in their last 66 against the Atlantic and 37-15 in their last 52 overall. Toronto is in tough here and while every game has been decided by a single goal I think we see some separation here as Washington gets the win at home and sends this back to Toronto up 3-2.