The Washington Capitals are out to an early lead in Game 3 thanks to goals from Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin.
The Washington Capitals made a change in their lineup going into Game 3 against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Iron man defenseman Karl Alzner missed his first game since the 2010 postseason with an upper body injury. Luckily, the Caps have depth, as Nate Schmidt drew in for him. This switch paid immediate dividends, as he set up Nicklas Backstrom for an early four-on-four goal. Shortly after, captain Alex Ovechkin got a goal to give the Caps a 2-0 lead. This is the first time Washington has had a first period lead all series.
Schmidt is such an excellent puck mover. He shows off why he should be on the lineup full-time here. Alzner is a very good shutdown defenseman, but Schmidt can do so much more on offense. He confidently gets the puck to Backstrom, who gets a relatively easy goal. Ovechkin’s goal got set up from number 19 and T.J. Oshie. The latter has two early secondary assists, as he also notched one on the first goal.
Early on in Game 3, the Capitals have quieted the Maple Leafs home crowd. They’ve come out with a ton of energy and are executing much better than they did in Game 2. The Caps got chances early in the second game of the series but couldn’t finish. However, Auston Matthews scored his first goal of the series after a puck went off of Schmidt’s face. This makes the early two goals even more important. The Caps will have to keep their pedal on the gas as Toronto isn’t ready to roll over just yet.