The Toronto Maple Leafs blew a lead in a tough Game 1 loss in their attempt to upset the top-seeded Washington Capitals, but they got back on the right track on Saturday night. Kasperi Kapanen netted his second goal of the game 11:53 into the second overtime period, helping the Leafs tie the series at one with a 4-3 win over the Caps. Kapanen's game-winner capped off an impressive 47-save performance from Frederik Andersen, who made many big stops to keep the game alive for Toronto. He did surrender goals to Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson, and Nicklas Backstrom, but the offensive support helped avenge those mishaps. Kapanen also scored in regulation, as did James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Rielly. Brian Boyle had the slick, back-handed assist on the goal that gave the Leafs their first playoff victory since 2013. They will host Game 3 of the series on Monday night.
Predators Take 2-0 Lead on Blackhawks
Meanwhile, in the West, another eight-seed is looking to pull off the upset, and that eight-seed is sitting in perfect position in their series. The Nashville Predators shut out the Chicago Blackhawks for a second straight game on the road behind Pekka Rinne's 30-save outing in a 5-0 victory. Ryan Johansen led the offense with a goal and two assists, while Rinne had two assists of his own from his goalie position. Ryan Ellis, Harry Zolniecrzyk, Colton Sissons, and Kevin Fiala all scored their first career playoff goals in the win. The Blackhawks shuffled their lineup after their Game-1 shutout loss, but the insertion of two rookies did not change the outcome. In fact, it only made it worse, as Chicago was shut out, 2-0, on Thursday night. The Predators became just the fifth team in NHL history to begin the postseason with consecutive road shutouts. Now, they take an impressive 2-0 series lead back home for Game 3 on Monday night.
Cavs Hold off Pacers for Game 1 Win
LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers didn't care about seeding in the regular season, they just cared about getting results in the postseason. It wasn't easy in Game 1 on Saturday, but they hung on for a 109-108 win over the Indiana Pacers in their first round series. Paul George had the ball in the final possession, but the Cavs' tight defense forced the ball into the hands of C.J. Miles, who could not get the job done at the buzzer. George was visibly frustrated at the final play, and stated after the game that he needs to take the final shot. James had 32 points and 13 assists in his 200th career playoff game, winning his 18th consecutive first-round contest. He also added six rebounds for Cleveland, who held a 10-point lead in the final quarter. Kyrie Irving added 23 points and Kevin Love chipped in 17 for the Cavs, who have also won 12 consecutive home playoff games. George finished the night with 29 points in the loss, while Lance Stephenson had 16 for the Pacers, who will get another shot in Cleveland for Game 2 on Monday.