National Hockey League roundup: Maple Leafs in playoffs for first time since '13

Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point celebrates after scoring against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday

Maple Leafs beat Penguins to wrap up playoff spot

They have one more regular season game left to play, against the Columbus Blue Jackets, and will be very important in determining their first round opponent. Tormented by bad luck and at times hesitant to shoot during his scoring slump, he finally found satisfaction in front of the people, a lot of them in the media, who questioned his will to win and his conditioning during a six-season span in Toronto.

The Toronto Maple leafs are headed to the playoffs for the first time in four years.

For a few minutes in the second period on Sunday, the Toronto Maple Leafs gave us all a tremendous playoff tease.

The Leafs and Capitals will play Game 1 at 7 p.m. Thursday in Washington. Ottawa Senators' Derick Brassard (19) celebrates his goal against the New York Rangers with teammates Alexandre Burrows (14) and Mark Borowiecki (74) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Ottawa o.

"I think we've done a good job against them this year", forward Daniel Winnik said. His arrival near the trade deadline on February 27 to bolster the Leafs' fourth line and leadership group was a sign management decided the team was a playoff contender ahead of schedule. For us, we have surpassed some outside expectations, so it's a little bit of a different dynamic for each team. They seem to have a pretty good mixture of both early on, so it's impressive for sure. "He's been a leader and I don't think you ever want to see him get hurt in a situation like that". I don't even know what they say these days.

"Through the first couple of games you could tell we had a lot of potential", he said. McElhinney made the first save on Schultz, but couldn't recover in time to stop Crosby, who was set up by Guentzel.

EAST: The Toronto Maple Leafs' loss to Columbus sends them to Washington to face the Presidents' Trophy-winning Capitals on the brutal Metropolitan Division side of the draw.

Their reward: A first-round meeting with the NHL's best team, the Washington Capitals.

James van Riemsdyk reached a personal high for points in one National Hockey League season and couldn't have cared less.

Marc-Andre Fleury started in goal for the Penguins but dropped to 7-1-2 in his last 10 decisions at Toronto, 12-4-2 in his last 18 decisions overall against the Leafs.

In recent years, the Penguins were typically the more desperate team, while the Maple Leafs were mere hours away from honing their golf games. "[Now] we're playing a real good team". "That's when it's a totally different program though".

"We're going to try to win the game", he said. The one thing Andersen has done that Holtby hasn't is lead his team to the conference finals, which he did two years ago when he was with the Anaheim Ducks.

No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen sat out Sunday after exiting a playoff-clinching win against Pittsburgh on Saturday following a hit to the head.

The Leafs got on the board early in the second when van Riemsdyk scored the first of his two goals on the night. He added his second goal and 28th this season during a 2-on-1 rush with Mitch Marner. Mike Condon was charged with three of the Senators' six giveaways. Calvert got the first with a weak backhand between McElhinney's pads, Anderson followed up off the rush and Atkinson got the go-ahead marker short-handed. It was in the final minutes of the frame that rookie defenceman Nikita Zaitsev was plastered into the end-boards by Jackets captain Nick Foligno. Well, actually, he did return briefly, but left again. The 1967-68 Los Angeles Kings, a club comprised nearly all of rookies, had 344, while the 1992-93 Winnipeg Jets had their Teemu Selanne-inspired 330 and the 1981-82 Jets recorded 323.

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