Playoff Roundup: Maple Leafs take series lead on Capitals on OT-filled night
- On a night in which all four games went to OT, the surprising Leafs seized the advantage on the Caps, while the Predators and Ducks completed big comebacks to take 3–0 series leads.
This is not a drill: The Toronto Maple Leafs have a 2–1 series lead against the top-seeded Washington Capitals.
Tyler Bozak finished off the Maple Leafs' comeback by redirecting a feed from Nazem Kadri past Capitals goalie Braden Holtby at 1:37 of overtime on Monday. The power-play tally came after the team rallied from a 3–1 deficit in the second period on goals by Kadri and William Nylander. Toronto also saw Auston Matthews notch his first playoff score in the first period.
"We've had a lot of ups and downs in this series," Bozak said. "Every game is overtime. So those are the most fun games to play definitely, so it's nice that we got rewarded tonight."
For Washington, the big guns came out, with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin giving the Caps a quick 2–0 lead, while Evgeny Kuznetsov made it a 3–1 game in the second period. Holtby stopped 24 shots on the night, while Leafs counterpart Frederik Andersen made 23 saves.
The win—the third straight game in the series to need extra time—gave the Leafs their first playoff win in Toronto since 2013, and they'll have a chance to add another in Game 4 on Wednesday, while the Caps will get a chance to quell the nerves back home in D.C.
Here's what happened on the rest of a four-game night of playoff hockey.
Senators 4, Bruins 3 (OT) | OTT leads 2–1
The Bruins rallied from a 3–0 deficit, only to have the Senators squash their hopes for the second game in a row.
Ottawa led thanks to a pair of goals by Mike Hoffman that bookended Derick Brassard's score, though Boston's Noel Acciari and David Backes each broke through in a 42-second span in the second period before David Pastrnak made it a tie game minutes later.
After a goalless third, Bobby Ryan put a stop to any thoughts of a Bruins' win at 5:43 of overtime, capitalizing on a bad line change to finish off a give-and-go with Kyle Turris that gave the Sens two straight wins.
Boston has a chance to even up the series in front of its home crowd on Wednesday, though the thought of heading back to Ottawa with a 3–1 series lead will be pretty enticing for the Senators.
Predators 3, Blackhawks 2 (OT) | NSH leads 3–0
The Predators got in on a night full of comebacks as well, rallying from a two-goal deficit to take a 3–2 overtime win over the Blackhawks.
Kevin Fiala took a pass from James Neal and danced around goalie Corey Crawford to deposit the winner at 16:44 of the OT period. Of course, Nashville wouldn't have made it that far if not for the heroics of Filip Forsberg. The Swedish forward posted two goals in the third period to even the score after the Blackhawks scored twice in the second period, putting to rest everyone's 'One Goal' jokes.
Corey Crawford stopped 46 of 49 shots in the loss, which pushed the Blackhawks to a must-win situation in Game 4 on Thursday.
Ducks 5, Flames 4 (OT) | ANA leads 3–0
The fourth game of the night provided more of the same: a big-time rally and some overtime.
Calgary held a 4–1 lead midway through the second period and chased Ducks starter John Gibson. That was the end of the good feelings as the Flames fell apart at home and allowed Anaheim to score four unanswered goals, including two from defenseman Shea Theodore, which culminated in Corey Perry's pinball winner just 1:30 into the fourth period.
The Flames get one more chance to extend their playoff lives on Wednesday.
Highlight of the Night, Part I
Erik Karlsson's home-run pass is plenty pretty on its own, but Mike Hoffman's one-handed finish is swoon-worthy.
Highlight of the Night, Part II
Yeah, yeah, Auston Matthews got his first playoff goal. This feed to William Nylander, though? Sublime. Note the subtle peek over his shoulder before sending it behind his back and right to Nylander's tape.
3. Shea Theodore (ANA) — The Ducks blueliner jump-started the comeback with a second-period goal, then sent the game to OT with a seeing-eye shot through traffic from the top of the zone.
2. Corey Crawford (CHI) — Crow was equal parts steady and stellar in the Blackhawks' Game 3 loss, stopping 46 shots, none bigger than this toe save in OT.
1. Filip Forsberg (NSH) — The Predators needed a boost in the third period, and they got it in the form of two big goals from Forsberg.