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Maple Leafs win wild Game 3 against Capitals in OT

Tyler Bozak's power-play goal at 1:37 gives Toronto 2-1 series lead

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

TORONTO -- Tyler Bozak scored a power-play goal 1:37 into overtime to give the Toronto Maple Leafs a 4-3 win against the Washington Capitals in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Air Canada Centre on Monday.

Toronto leads the best-of-7 series 2-1. Game 4 will be played at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday.

Auston Matthews and William Nylander each scored his first career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, and Frederik Andersen made 23 saves for the Maple Leafs.

 

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

 

"It's a lot of emotions," Bozak said. "You just want to be with your teammates and celebrate. Obviously, we've had a lot of ups and downs in this series. Every game is overtime. So those are the most fun games to play definitely, so it's nice that we got rewarded tonight."

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist and Braden Holtby made 24 saves for the Capitals.

The Maple Leafs scored twice in 4:07 to make it 3-3 before the end of the second period. Nazem Kadri's shot from the blue line deflected off Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik in front of the net at 15:13 to make it 3-2. Nylander tied the game at 19:07.

Evgeny Kuznetsov gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead at 5:39 of the second period.

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Matthews follows puck, beats Holtby

Washington had a two-man advantage for a full two minutes at 6:52 of the second when Matt Hunwick was called for hooking and Matt Martin was assessed a double minor for roughing, but the Maple Leafs killed it off.

"We should have scored there, absolutely I think so," Backstrom said. "You have to take advantage of that."

Andersen felt it was a turning point.

"That was phenomenal," Andersen said. "I think it led to us being able to come back."

Toronto killed off another penalty for too many men at 9:48 of the second.

The Capitals scored on each of their first two shots to take a 2-0 lead by 4:49 of the first period. Backstrom took a centering pass from Nate Schmidt, who carried the puck deep into the Maple Leafs zone and one-timed a shot past Andersen at 2:43. Alex Ovechkin scored 2:06 later on a one-timer from the top of the left circle.

Matthews cut the lead to 2-1 at 14:08 when he put his own rebound past Holtby's glove.

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Ovechkin cranks one-timer past Andersen

 

Goal of the game

Kadri held the puck along the left wing boards and sent a pass to Bozak in the slot. Bozak redirected the feed past Holtby for the winning goal.

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Bozak scores OT winner on power play

 

Save of the game

Kuznetsov carried the puck out from behind the goal line and cut across the crease, but Andersen stretched out his right pad to make a toe save at 18:41 of the second period. Nylander scored 39 seconds later to make it 3-3.

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Andersen extends pad to deny Kuznetsov

 

Highlight of the game

Shortly after killing off a two-man disadvantage for a full two minutes, Marner came out of the penalty box and raced towards a loose puck. Holtby came far out of the net and sprawled to poke check the puck away above the right faceoff circle before scrambling back to the net.

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Holtby dives for huge poke check

 

Unsung performance of the game

Kadri tied for the Maple Leafs lead with Zach Hyman with six hits. One of them came against Orpik the shift before Matthews scored to make it 2-1.

"It was a huge turning point, huge shift from Nazem," Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly said. "He's been doing that all year. And it wasn't just one shift from him tonight. He was outstanding all night. But when he goes out there and creates that energy, it can turn a game around. We love it when he's playing like that."

Video: WSH@TOR, Gm3: Kadri delivers two big hits to Orpik

 

They said it

"We were amped up, to say the least. We had tons of energy. Energy wasn't a problem; we probably should have played longer the other night (in Game 2), but getting to the right spots and stopping there was a bit of a problem so we'll get that sorted out." -- Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on overcoming a bad start

 

"I think if you have a short memory, you get over it and move on. [Tuesday], we'll look at stuff and be better as a team. You just have to build on that. You can't dwell too much on the past. We still have plenty of time to create our own future." -- Capitals defenseman John Carlson

 

Need to know

Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner, who has played 540 consecutive regular-season games and 59 in the playoffs, was unable to play because of an upper-body injury. He is day-to-day. ... This is the first time since 1951 that Games 1, 2 and 3 of a Maple Leafs playoff series have all gone to overtime.

 

What's next

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC)

 

Video: Bozak's PPG lifts Leafs to 4-3 overtime win in Game 3

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