Not only did Washington get solid contributions from their heavy-hitters up front — especially Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie — but they also got a career-best performance from Tom Wilson.
Wilson is more recognized for being an instigator and physical presence on the ice than he is for being a difference-maker on the scoreboard, but the 23-year-old had the game of his life on Wednesday.
Not only did Wilson score twice — the first multi-goal game of his NHL career — but he also prevented a goal for Toronto with what might be the best save of the series.
On a wild sequence in the first period, Wilson made a diving stick save to prevent the puck from rolling across the goal line after it trickled through Caps’ netminder Braden Holtby, then immediately went down to the other end of the ice and scored a goal on a deflection in front of the Leafs’ net.
It was a hell of a swing for the Capitals, and one that ultimately made a huge difference in game decided by a single goal.
Wilson, who scored seven goals all regular season, went on to add a second tally on an odd-man rush later in the period.
It may not have been the sexiest overall game for Wilson, but for bottom-six depth players it’s more about taking advantage of the opportunities in front of you than it is about being sexy. Wilson was able to become an unlikely difference-maker by taking advantage of those opportunities.