By: Josh Cohen, GZ Sports Report Contributor
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The Capitals started out fast Wednesday night, jumping out to a 4-1 lead after the first period. The Caps held on and secured a 5-4 series tying win.
Despite their electric first period, Washington still had to deal with a surge from Toronto over the next two periods. Auston Matthews‘ goal with 8 minutes to go cut the Caps’ lead to one goal but T.J. Oshie’s second goal of the game at 12:59 to give Washington the safety net they needed. With 30 seconds left to play, Toronto’s Tyler Bozak scored to make it 5-4, but it wouldn’t be enough to make a comeback effort. In addition to Oshie’s two goals and Wilson’s two, Ovechkin netted one goal from his sweet spot 4:34 into the game. For Toronto, Hyman and Van Riemsdyk both put one behind Holtby in addition to Matthews’ and Bozak’s third period goals.
The big story of Wednesday night was Toronto Native, Tom WIlson’s heroics, both putting pucks in the net and keeping them out. With the game tied 2-1, Wilson made the save of the game when he dove across the goal line to prevent a Morgan Rielly shot that dribbled through Braden Holtby. What might be more impressive is the fact that Wilson then sprung to his feet and skated the length of the ice to tip in a shot from Lars Eller to make it 3-1 instead of 2-2. About two minutes later, Wilson went down the ice on a 2-on-1 with Andre Burakovsky and scored to make it 4-1 with four minutes left in the first period.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 19, 2017
Wilson has been stellar in the first four games of this series. Wilson netted the OT game winning goal in Game 1 and in Game 4 made a game saving play preventing the puck to cross the goal line behind Holtby and netting 2 goals in less than three minutes. Wilson has had a chip on his shoulder since the start of the series when Toronto Head Coach, Mike Babcock had some words about Wilson prior to Game 1.
“Nothing against (Wilson), because he works hard and all that, but he’s not as big of concern as a lot of people on their team. …they’ve got a lot of players that we’ll concern ourselves with more.”
As the series shifts back to the nation’s capital as a best-of-3 series, Washington looks like themselves again and may have finally found the key to controlling this young Leafs team. The Caps will look to regain the series lead Friday night in D.C. in front of an electric home crowd in Game 5. If the Caps can keep their offense firing at full speed like it did Wednesday night, they could set themselves up for a potential series win on Sunday in Toronto in Game 6.