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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski / USA TODAY Sports

LGD: Going for the Split

The old playoff adage goes that “you’re not in trouble until you drop a game at home”, and the Leafs came surprisingly close to putting the Caps in that position on Thursday evening. Tonight they’ll again look to get that done and leave Washington with a 1-1 split, flipping home ice advantage in their favour.

Toronto came away empty-handed in game one, but I think they put a lot of minds at rest about the potential for a blowout series. The first matchup was more-or-less even in terms of how play was carried, and it seemed the Caps gave up a lot through the neutral zone, but the Leafs had trouble finding turnovers and scoring chances as the game went on after a hot start. If they want to come away with the win tonight, they’re going to have to do a better job of creating space in the offensive zone, and hopefully get guys like Matthews and Nylander on the scoresheet.

The Leafs

Nikita Zaitsev’s status is still up in the air as of right now, but should he slot in, the hope is he can provide a boost to an offense that had trouble generating much in the latter part of game one. Marincin was fine as a fill-in, but offensively there’s no comparison between the two.

The Capitals

Defensive Pairings
Karl Alzner
Karl Alzner
John Carlson
John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov
Dmitri Orlov
Matt Niskanen
Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik
Brooks Orpik
Kevin Shattenkirk
Kevin Shattenkirk

Starting Goaltenders

Andersen and Holtby will start, of course. Both were outstanding in game one, aside from the OT winner that I’m sure Freddie wasn’t happy with.

Where to Watch

Game goes at 7pm EST on CBC. We should note that there won’t be an official Maple Leafs Square tailgate for this game because of a conflict with the playoff opener for the Raptors. Plan accordingly.