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game recap

Maple Leafs even series with 2OT, Game 2 win

Kasperi Kapanen scores at 11:53 to defeat Capitals

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- When Kasperi Kapanen scored his first NHL goal a week ago, he said he felt like he could run a marathon. After scoring two goals, including a double-overtime playoff game-winner on Saturday, he still had plenty left in the tank.

"I've got a lot of energy for sure," the Toronto Maple Leafs forward said. "Two big goals, and I think our team played really well today. We deserved to win, and I'm just really happy about the outcome."

Kapanen scored 11:53 into the second overtime to give the Maple Leafs a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center.

 

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

 

The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 with Game 3 at Toronto on Monday. 

Kapanen took a backhand pass from Brian Boyle from behind the net and scored into the left side with goalie Braden Holtby moving to the opposite side.

"I think one of their [defensemen] lost their stick there and I was yelling for [the puck]," Kapanen said. "There was a clear lane there, and [Boyle] made an amazing pass, so I got to put it in the empty net."

Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom tied the game 3-3 with 7:21 left in the third period. Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson scored for Washington, who won Game 1 4-3 on Thursday on an overtime goal by Tom Wilson.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm2: Kapanen tallies winner in double OT

James van Riemsdyk and Morgan Rielly scored for Toronto, which led 3-2 after Rielly scored on the power play with 14 seconds remaining in the second period. 

Kapanen tied it 2-2 at 14:25 of the second period; the Capitals challenged for offside but the call on the ice was upheld. 

Van Riemsdyk scored at 17:34 of the first period to put the Maple Leafs up 1-0. Ovechkin tied it 1-1 on the power play at 3:47 of the second, his first goal of this postseason and 42nd NHL playoff goal. Carlson gave Washington a 2-1 lead, its first in-game lead of the series, with his power-play goal at 11:06. 

"We played a fairly decent first period," Holtby said. "Just didn't quite get the breaks and they got a goal on us. That's what happens. But we battled back. It was a hard-fought game."

Frederik Andersen and Holtby each made 47 saves.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm2: Ovechkin fires in PPG from the circle

 

Goal of the game 

Kapanen's slick backhand tied the game in the second period. 

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm2: Kapanen slides a backhand home

 

Save of the game

Holtby sprawled for a kick-out save on William Nylander in the second period.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm2: Holtby sprawls to rob Nylander in front

 

Highlight of the game

Andersen stopped shots by Ovechkin and Backstrom in the same sequence in overtime.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm2: Andersen makes a pair of saves in OT

 

Unsung performance of the game

Maple Leafs defensemen Rielly, Jake Gardiner and Matt Hunwick had to absorb extra ice time after Roman Polak was injured in the second period. Gardiner led the Maple Leafs with 40:34, Rielly played 39:56, and Hunwick played 35:46.

Video: TOR@WSH, Gm2: Rielly scores PPG through traffic

 

They said it

"Great feeling to win. We're happy with the way we played last game, but to lose in overtime was tough. We were on the other end of it tonight. It feels great to go home with a split. And as far as the minutes go, we'll be fine. We've got young legs and we've got lots of training staff. We know what we have to do to prepare for the next [game], and so we're going to do everything we can to make sure we're ready." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly

 

"I think we proved to everybody that we can play with these guys, and we're the underdogs, but the way we've been playing, I think we can be better in certain areas, so we're going to give them a run for their money." -- Maple Leafs forward Kasperi Kapanen

 

"This is fun. Sitting in here in overtime and knowing that you could be the one to end it, it's a great feeling. We expect a long series against Toronto. The battle is one that we ask for." -- Capitals forward Justin Williams on playing multiple overtime periods

 

Need to know

Polak is out for the remainder of the playoffs. He injured his right leg falling awkwardly after a hit from Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik. … The Maple Leafs, in the playoffs for the second time in 12 years, had lost five consecutive postseason overtime games. Their last win was April 21, 2003, 2-1 in double overtime against the Philadelphia Flyers in Games 6 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. … Kapanen is the first Maple Leafs rookie to score an overtime playoff goal since March 28, 1959 (Gerry Ehman, Game 3 of the Semifinals against the Boston Bruins), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. ... Ovechkin scored his 14th power-play playoff goal to set a Capitals record.

 
What's next

Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Air Canada Center on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC)

 

Video: Kapanen leads Leafs to 4-3 2OT win vs. Caps

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