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Maple Leafs begin quest for Stanley Cup in Washington

CityNews | posted Thursday, Apr 13th, 2017

HKN Penguins Maple Leafs 20170408

The Toronto Maple Leafs kick off their first Stanley Cup playoff series in four years on Thursday as they take on the Capitals in Washington.

The puck drops at 7 p.m.

While the Leafs haven’t won the Cup since 1967, the Capitals haven’t won Lord Stanley since the team’s inception in 1974. Washington won the Presidents’ Trophy for having the most wins this season.

Toronto’s goalie Frederik Andersen is expected to be between the pipes, but the Buds will be without rookie defenceman Nikita Zaitsev. He is sitting out Game 1 after a hit into the boards in Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

As the Leafs begin their quest for the Cup, hundreds of fans are expected to gather at Maple Leaf Square on Thursday night for a tailgate party. Gates open at 5 p.m.

The Leafs are one of five Canadian NHL teams who have made the Stanley Cup playoffs this year. Last spring, all seven of Canada’s teams missed the playoffs for the first time since 1969-70.

The Buds are not the only Toronto sports team in the playoffs. For the first time in 15 years, the Leafs and the Toronto Raptors are playoff-bound at the same time.

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