1. Leafs need half a period to unwind, but van Riemsdyk's goal puts them up as of the first intermission. Toronto built up a 2-0 lead in Game 1 of the series, but ultimately fell 3-2 to the Caps in overtime. But where the Leafs quickly established a lead in Thursday's game, Washington was constantly in their zone and they needed the first 10 minutes of the opening period in Game 2 to get their first shot on Washington netminder Brayden Holtby.
However, Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen turned aside all eight shots he saw in the period, and after the halfway mark of the frame, Toronto found its stride and became more aggressive and engaged until the period ended. They also took the first lead of the night when winger James van Riemsdyk finished off a dazzling offensive zone pressure sequence by blueliner Jake Gardiner and made it 1-0 for the visitors at 17:34.
The Leafs had three power play opportunities in the first 20 minutes of action and thus were looking at a golden chance to increase their lead, but Holtby was solid in stopping 10 of 11 shots Toronto generated in the final 10 minutes of the frame to keep the score at 1-0 entering the second.