To heck with Mother Nature, Maple Leafs need to blow by Capitals

To heck with Mother Nature, Maple Leafs need to blow by Capitals

To heck with Mother Nature, Maple Leafs need to blow by Capitals

(Just before noon, it hit 49 miles per hour in Annapolis.) It's also wise words for those attending Saturday's outdoor game at the U.S. Naval Academy, because the chances of playing the game remained up in the air.

"The wind wouldn't be ideal, but part of playing these games is you have to deal with the weather", Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said.

The Washington Capitals picked up Saturday where they left off in the playoffs previous year, sinking Toronto 5-2 Saturday night at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Md.

However, the Capitals retook the lead on Ovechkin's goal with 13:41 remaining in the first. Wind could wreak more havoc on a hockey game than cold or snow.

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The outage was reminiscent of Super Bowl XLVII in 2013 when some of the lights went out during the third quarter.

Toronto's participation in outdoor games will likely increase going forward with an American-born star in Auston Matthews and as they continue to ascend to the top echelon of the NHL, but it is questionable for the league to schedule a game of this nature in early March, in the last quarter of the season. Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists.

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The offensive fireworks of the first two periods - including three goals in the first 6:19 - matched the pomp and circumstance of the NHL's first game at a USA service academy.

The game was delayed for 14 minutes and 40 seconds. Marner finished the game with them after Tomas Plekanec started as their centre. "It would've been nice to get out there today and get a feel for (the ice), especially with (Toronto's Canadian Navy-themed) white jerseys, but we'll make it work", van Riemsdyk said. And after streaking into strong position in the Eastern Conference by winning 13 of 15 games, Toronto has now lost three in a row on a road trip that will conclude on Monday at the Buffalo Sabres.

What might be an issue is goalie Frederik Andersen, pulled for Curtis McElhinney after allowing five goals on 25 shots.

"(Wind) can have lots (of an effect on the game), but (Saturday) we are going to get up, there's going to be no wind and we are going to have a good game." an optimistic Mike Babcock said after practice on Friday.

"He's working hard on his conditioning and the big thing about this injury is, when you come back from this injury you have your legs", said Babcock.

"Night time will make it different for sight, but I think that will be good (not to lose the puck against different backdrops)".

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