Leafs' loss sets up first-round matchup against Capitals

The Leafs have little to no playoff experience in their lineup, they have injury concerns in net and on defence, and they are playing against, perhaps, the most complete team in the league. They were in a backs-to-the-wall situation. On Sunday morning, however, Babcock said that while Andersen was not exhibiting concussion symptoms, he would not dress for the game. "So I think he's a real good player and a real good man and has a chance to be special".

"Oh yeah, for sure", Babcock said. You've got to take the positives and move on.

Boyle, who went to the Cup final with the Rangers in 2014 and the Lightning in 2015, advised doing "what gets you there". It makes it fun in these types of games in hostile atmospheres.

The Jackets are winless in their last four road games and 7-2 in their last nine Sunday games while the Leafs are 4-1 in their last five against the Metro and 7-3 in their last 10 overall. "So hopefully we have a better result next game". But that's always a motivating factor when you miss the playoffs and you're used to having success at other levels. Over their recent 14-5-1 stretch that propelled them into the playoffs, that particular propensity hadn't been much of an issue, but it was against Columbus. The Leafs, however, never did have the consistent energy that Babcock thought he would see, and Columbus reeled off three goals by the end of the second, getting the victor from Cam Atkinson while shorthanded.

At 11:50, right winger Nikita Kucherov danced around three Leafs defenders and fired a quick wrister that beat Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen for his 39th goal to give the Lightning a 2-1 lead.

The 2nd wild card spot will probably end up in Toronto's hands, but when it comes to the playoffs anything can happen.

The Leafs seemed to sink after that, Point adding his second of the evening with six minutes left in the third to secure the win for Tampa. Roman Polak also left in the second period after suffering what appeared to be a leg injury. He's a guy who can score goals, but he plays away from the puck, he's strong on the puck, but he scores goals different ways.

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It's expected the first two games of the Ottawa series would be on Wednesday and Saturday, while Games 1 and 2 versus Washington would be Thursday and Saturday.

Washington Capitals' Justin Williams, center, and his teammates watch a replay of his goal which was eventually disallowed during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Boston Bruins in Boston, Saturday, April 8.

James van Riemsdyk scored at 2:03 when his shot dipped under the glove of Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo; at 6:36, van Riemsdyk scored his second goal after keeping on a two-on-one with Mitch Marner and beating Korpisalo with a high shot. Yet, this young group led by 19-year-old Auston Matthews has made believers out of us all this season.

Tonight's game will be an interesting one for the Pittsburgh Penguins.

A lot of the time, it's just whistling past the graveyard because the players know they blew a great opportunity and the momentum is now with the opposition.

The two teams exchanged power play goals from Bozak and Crosby in the middle frame, but the the dread returned early in the third, as Gardiner redirected Jake Guentzel's shot past McElhinney to give Pittsburgh the lead.

About face: Babcock puts a lot of emphasis and importance on his team winning face-offs.