Stanley Cup playoffs three stars: Capitals survive against Leafs

The Washington Capitals got the better of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL playoffs on Thursday.

The Presidents' Trophy winners secured a 3-2 overtime victory in the series opener thanks to a Tom Wilson goal.

The Nashville Predators took a 1-0 series lead against the Chicago Blackhawks, thanks to a 1-0 win.

Meanwhile, the Anaheim Ducks edged their opener against the Calgary Flames 3-2.

Three stars

Justin Williams, Capitals - Williams got the Caps on track with a pair of goals to tie things against the Maple Leafs. 

Tom Wilson, Capitals - Wilson's first playoff goal five minutes, 15 seconds into overtime lifted the Capitals to victory and avoided what could have been a morale-crushing defeat.

Pekka Rinne, Predators - Rinne had 29 saves as the Blackhawks were shut out in a home playoff game for the first time since 2012. Rinne faced a barrage of shots over the final two periods as Chicago outshot Nashville 23-9 over the latter two-thirds.

Highlight

Wilson's bullet from Frederik Andersen's left side beat the Leafs goalie glove side and was the first playoff goal of the 23-year-old's four-year career. 

Friday's game to watch

Game 2: Blues at Wild - The Blues needed goalie Jake Allen to win game one, but they cannot rely on Allen making 50 saves every night. The Wild outshout the Blues 52-26 on Wednesday and are sure to stay aggressive. The Blues defenders must step up and check the Wild forwards while the Blues have to find some offense to steal a second game in Minnesota.

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