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game recap

Capitals rally to win Game 1 in overtime

Tom Wilson scores at 5:15 after Maple Leafs took first-period lead

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- As a Toronto native, Tom Wilson grew up dreaming that one day he might score an overtime game-winner for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He was more than happy to be able to do it for the Washington Capitals.

Wilson scored 5:15 into overtime to give the Capitals a 3-2 win against the Maple Leafs in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Thursday.

"Lots of emotion," Wilson said. "Obviously, pretty crazy. Once the puck goes in, it's a whirlwind. Got to watch it briefly on an interview. You know what? It's a good feeling. Hopefully we keep building those good feelings and keep it rolling here."

Wilson used his hand to keep the puck in the zone on a clearing attempt by Toronto and then shot past goalie Frederik Andersen. It was Wilson's first goal in 29 Stanley Cup Playoff games; he is the first Capitals player to score his first playoff goal in overtime.

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Capitals highlights | RELATED: Complete Toronto vs. Washington series coverage]

 

Game 2 of the best-of-7 series is here Saturday.

Toronto took a 2-0 lead 9:44 into the first period, but Washington tied it with two goals by Justin Williams.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm1: Williams slams home Oshie's silky feed

"Everything's about momentum," Williams said. "They certainly had it to start, and we kind of calmed down, settled the nerves and we did what we wanted to do: Come back from (down) two goals, and now you keep the pressure on."

Williams scored a power-play goal to make it 2-1 at 12:24 of the first period and made it 2-2 with 4:00 left in the second period.

Mitchell Marner scored 1:35 into his first NHL playoff game to give Toronto a 1-0 lead, and Jake Gardiner put the Maple Leafs up 2-0. The goal was initially waved off for goalie interference but the call on the ice was reversed after a coach's challenge by Toronto.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm1: Marner lays out to open the scoring

"A confidence-builder, for sure," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "I liked our game. I didn't like that we wouldn't shoot the puck. We had so many opportunities to shoot and we wouldn't, we wanted to pass. I thought Wilson did a good job of doing that, you just throw it on net. That's playoff hockey. Things bounce to somebody and it goes in."

Andersen made 41 saves; Braden Holtby made 35 for Washington.

 

Goal of the game

Martin Marincin's clear from near the end boards was intercepted by Wilson, who scored past defenseman Morgan Rielly and over Andersen's shoulder from the right faceoff circle.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm1: Wilson snipes short side for OT win

 

Saves of the game

Andersen stopped Brooks Orpik and Andre Burakovsky in the same overtime sequence. On the first save, Andersen fell to the ice, and his second one was made with his toe.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm1: Andersen sprawls for two huge OT stops

 

Highlight of the game

Williams got to a loose puck in the crease and scored through Andersen's legs to tie the game.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm1: Williams pokes home his second of game

 

Unsung moment of the game

Capitals defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk blocked Connor Brown's shot to start the play that led to Williams' second goal.

 

They said it

"It's hard to say what was up there. Maybe we [were] a little bit nervous, maybe kind of [felt] the pressure a little bit. But when they scored, all the bench said, 'Just calm down and let's play our way.' Coming back in after [the first period], there was no panic, obviously still lots of minutes to play. It's nice we get the first one. It was an important goal. We just grinded it out and won in overtime." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin

 

"We believe in ourselves here, we believe in our 60-minute game, and I think that was a good thing. The first period, if it's bad, we know we can outplay them the rest of the game. It showed maturity throughout the game, but it also showed that we might not get away with it in the future, so we'll focus on our start." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby

 

"It was a fun game. It wasn't the end result we wanted, but we played really good and we showed we can play with these guys. It was a good game for us, but obviously you don't get a win for that, so we have to come back and play the same way and better." -- Maple Leafs goalie Frederik Andersen

 

Need to know 

Capitals defenseman John Carlson played 19:27 after missing the last four games of the regular season. … Marner is the first Maple Leafs rookie to score a playoff goal since Jeff Farkas on May 6, 2000, according to Elias Sports Bureau. … It was Williams' fourth two-goal playoff game.

 

What's next

Game 2 of Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-DC)

 

Video: Wilson, Williams lead Caps to Game 1 overtime win

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