The game being played on schedule was still in doubt as late as Friday evening, as winds upwards of 60 miles per hour blasted eastern Maryland, but conditions calmed on Saturday morning and the National Hockey League gave the go-ahead for the Stadium Series game to proceed at it's scheduled 8pm start.
In one of the best-themed outdoor games to date, the game was played on a rink on top of a facsimile of an aircraft carrier with a replica jet stationed in one corner.
Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews is pictured during third period NHL hockey action against the Columbus Blue Jackets in Toronto on Wednesday, February 14, 2018. Zach Hyman scored in the first after Washington had taken the lead, and Nazem Kadri scored in the second to bring the Leafs within one - 3-2 - before the Capitals responded with two quick goals to open up a three-goal lead. John Carlson and Jakub Vrana also scored for Washington. There were curlers - the US men's Olympic gold medallists - sweeping the game puck to the centre-ice dot on a curling stone.
The highlight of the night might have been the moments that came with almost no light at all, as the outdoor tilt was delayed midway through the third period when the stadium's power went out.
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Backstrom, Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each finished with a goal and two assists while Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots. Despite playing just 53 games, the Phoenix area native leads Toronto with 28 goals and is second in points with 50. The fourth line of Plekanec - acquired at the trade deadline from rival Montreal - with Leo Komarov and Kasperi Kapanen sets the Maple Leafs up well for the stretch run and playoffs.
The Caps held on to secure a 5-2 win over the Leafs, who clearly didn't bring their A-game.
What might be an issue is goalie Frederik Andersen, pulled for Curtis McElhinney after allowing five goals on 25 shots. Babcock says Matthews is skating every day. "The big thing about this injury: you have your legs". "When you come back from the previous injury, you don't have your legs because you didn't do anything. And I didn't want to leave him in there and (have) a bunch more go in", Babcock said.