Three NHL analysts weigh in on why the top-seeded Caps find themselves trailing the upstart Maple Leafs.
As the Capitals played a pivotal third period, their all-time leading goal scorer sat for nearly three quarters of it.
Before his Game 3 scratch, Alzner hadn't missed a game in seven years.
The situation is dire, but it’s not time to go away from what’s worked so well for two years.
The Capitals haven't fared well at PPG Paints Arena, where they've lost six straight, including all three games in the second round of last year's Stanley Cup playoffs. They'll need to win at least one of two to keep the series alive.
With their season hanging in the balance, the Caps placed one of their stars on the bench.
Washington wasn't going to keep Auston Matthews down all series, but Toronto's first line came through big Monday.
Nate Schmidt will be in the lineup alongside John Carlson.
Alzner hasn't missed a game in seven years, but may be forced from a crucial playoff contest.
Nikita Zaitsev missed Games 1 and 2 with an upper-body injury, and his return comes at a crucial time for the banged-up Maple Leafs.
"You don’t want it to be easy,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. “It’s one of the beautiful things about playoffs, how hard it is."
Washington has reason for concern after Toronto evened the first-round playoff series 1-1.
The talented third line forward creates a matchup problem for the Capitals.