Nazem Kadri: Nazem Kadri helps lead Leafs over Capitals

Nazem Kadri: Nazem Kadri helps lead Leafs over Capitals

Nazem Kadri: Nazem Kadri helps lead Leafs over Capitals

Nicklas Backstrom forced the overtime with a goal in the third period, 12:39 into the frame. Pekka Rinne made 34 saves, even with his franchise playoff scoreless streak ending early in the second period at 141 minutes, 5 seconds.

Of course, the Leafs will probably have to win Game 3 - and maybe even Game 4 - to cause some real uncertainty in Washington's players.

Dennis Rasmussen and Patrick Kane each scored the first goals this series for the Western Conference's No. 1 seed. The last time Toronto has won a playoff series was 2004 when they beat Ottawa in the first round.

Fiala finally converted on his third chance in overtime.

"Surprisingly, it was fine", Leafs defenceman Jake Gardiner said of the mood on the bench when the Caps took the early lead. He also logged four hits and two blocked shots. He beat Rinne glove-side off an assist from Marcus Kruger. The Capitals are averaging 3.2 goals per game and are scoring on 23.1 percent of their power play opportunities. He scored the 50th postseason goal of his career with a wrister from the right circle at 11:15 of the second, taking advantage of Marcus Kruger standing in front of Rinne. It just goes to show you that in overtime in the playoffs, you need everybody and depth shows up. Forsberg then flicked home a wrister from the slot at 14:08, jumping on the carom of Ryan Ellis' point blast. Officials also reviewed for Arvidsson interfering with Crawford outside the crease before ruling another good goal.

Tyler Bozak scored the overtime victor and Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist as the Leafs pulled in front 2-1 in their best-of-seven series with Washington with a 4-3 win on Monday night. Matthews added an assist. They've certainly tested Andersen plenty, but the Maple Leafs goaltender stopped 47 of the 50 shots he saw Saturday. "We'd just like to win".

The banged-up Toronto Maple Leafs got a day to catch their breath Sunday after a double-overtime Game 2 thriller sent them home from Washington with a split. Or how they are not getting flustered when the Capitals come out like they did Monday night and take a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes.

Nate Schmidt, who was filling in for an injured Karl Alzner, got the first one started by rushing into the Toronto zone with speed before finding Backstrom crashing the net across the ice. The Leafs have seven rookies on their team who were fundamental all season, but the return of Nikita Zaitsev is going to be huge. That gave the Capitals two even-strength goals in the first five minutes of the game after they had tallied just three in the first two games combined.

At 4:49, Ovechkin made it 2-0 when he hammered a shot from the high slot for his second goal of the playoffs on a setup from Backstrom. The fans. What a game, and what a series - three straight overtime affairs and a series that has the look of going the distance. Washington's attempts to cycle the puck in the Toronto zone have often been stifled by a defensive crew that seems patient and up for the challenge.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have taken a 2-1 series lead with their latest victory Monday night. But they generated few shots or scoring chances beyond the goals and the Leafs pushed back with Matthews' first of the series.

Matthews stuck with the rebound and eventually batted the puck out of mid-air for Toronto's first goal.

Just Monday, all four games went to OT for only the third time in National Hockey League history and first time since 1985, including the Blackhawks and Capitals blowing two-goal leads to sow more seeds of doubt and give the Predators and Maple Leafs a jolt of confidence.

Martin says Kadri's not the only Leaf with a "burning fire" inside.

In the winning effort, the Leafs' top trio - comprised of three rookies in Auston Matthews, William Nylander and Zach Hyman - was absolutely phenomenal. Washington fell behind in each of the first two games and will try to reverse that trend moving forward. A fair bit of their goals have been amusing bounces, off Brooks Orpik's trousers (a Kadri goal) or Schmidt's face, but you know what, that's hockey. Hyman played the familiar role of muscle, helping to set up a goal before drawing the Lars Eller high-sticking penalty which led to Tyler Bozak's overtime victor.

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