Cap­i­tals fall be­hind in se­ries after loss in over­time

Cap­i­tals fall 2-1 in se­ries as young Maple Leafs win again in OT

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY NORA PRINCIOTTI

TORONTO | The first two games be­tween the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals and Toronto Maple Leafs were won by un­likely heroes but, on Mon­day night at the Air Canada Cen­ter, the bold­face names took over.

Alex Ovechkin, Nick­las Back­strom and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Cap­i­tals in reg­u­la­tion, matched by the Maple Leafs’ Aus­ton Matthews, Nazem Kadri and Wil­liam Ny­lan­der. Side-by-side, it looked like hockey’s present paired against its bright fu­ture.

The fu­ture, though, wasn’t ex­pected to ar­rive so soon.

When for­ward Tyler Bozak scored the gamewin­ner for the Maple Leafs, who won 4-3 in over­time, he be­came the third mem­ber of his team to score his first ca­reer play­off goal in the con­test but the oth­ers, Matthews and Ny­lan­der, did so in their first play­offs, as rook­ies.

At first, the Cap­i­tals jumped on the Maple Leafs as they had promised they would. Wash­ing­ton built a two-goal lead in the first pe­riod off goals from Back­strom and Ovechkin. Back­strom’s goal came early and was as­sisted by de­fense­man Nate Schmidt, who was in the lineup in place of Karl Alzner, who missed the game and is day-to-day with an up­per body in­jury.

Cap­i­tals for­ward Justin Wil­liams and Toronto de­fense­man Mor­gan Rielly were both in the box with match­ing mi­nors, mak­ing Back­strom’s goal Wash­ing­ton’s first of the en­tire sea­son scored four-on-four.

Min­utes later, Back­strom found Ovechkin in his sweet spot and, with the re­lease of an AK-47, Ovechkin fired. Toronto goalie Fred­erik An­der­sen didn’t have a mo­ment to re­act be­fore the puck was in the net.

Braden Holtby stopped 24 pucks, but couldn’t seem to catch a break. Matthews got the Maple Leafs on the board be­fore the end of the first pe­riod, scor­ing off his own re­bound after his orig­i­nal shot car­omed off Schmidt’s vi­sor.

The crowd, no­tice­ably quiet after fall­ing be­hind 2-0, was back in it after their golden boy scored, but Kuznetsov added to the Cap­i­tals’ cush­ion after a lucky re­bound of his own, scor­ing on a sharp an­gle after a puck bounced off the post.

Kadri made it a one-goal game again after 15:13 in the se­cond and then, with only 40 sec­onds to go in the pe­riod, Ny­lan­der scored on a wide-open look. Holtby laid out to block his orig­i­nal shot but Ny­lan­der got the re­bound and had a wide-open look with de­fense­men Kevin Shat­tenkirk and Brooks Or­pik both caught up be­hind the net.

The Cap­i­tals were stuck on the penalty kill for much of the third pe­riod. With only 15 sec­onds to go, Lars Eller went to the box for high stick­ing, the fourth Cap­i­tal to take a penalty in the pe­riod. He re­mained there for the start of over­time and never got a chance to leave the box be­fore Bozak ended it.

The Cap­i­tals have one more game, on Wed­nes­day, in Toronto be­fore they can re­turn home. For the first time, they trail in the se­ries. This gang of in­fants is test­ing them to their limit, and they are start­ing to run out of time.


Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals goalie Braden Holtby watches the Toronto Maple Leafs cel­e­brate for­ward Tyler Bozak’s game-win­ning goal in over­time of Game 3 of their Stan­ley Cup first-round se­ries in Toronto on Mon­day. The Maple Leafs won, 4-3, to take a 2-1 se­ries lead with Game 4 in Toronto on Wed­nes­day.

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