10:53 PM ET
TORONTO — Still don’t believe in these kids?
Outplayed for the first half of the game on Monday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs rallied for an improbable 4-3 overtime win over the top-seeded Washington Capitals, with Tyler Bozak scoring the winner on a power play 1:37 into the extra session.
Believe it — the Leafs are up 2-1 in the series after another OT win. Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports
The baby-faced Leafs now lead the series, improbably, two games to one, with Game 4 here at the Air Canada Centre on Wednesday night.
The Blackhawks are down. And where are the Wild? Meanwhile, Pittsburgh and rookie Jake Guentzel are rocking, while goalies Pekka Rinne and Jake Allen have Nashville and St. Louis singing.
The young and untested Toronto Maple Leafs could collapse completely under the weight of the pressure or instead learn to embrace the experience to build on for the future.
Despite all the pressure, despite the lofty expectations, despite never having sniffed a Stanley Cup, Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin is going full speed ahead.
The turning point came during a full, two-minute 5-on-3 power play in the second period for the Caps — leading 3-1 at the time — when they failed to connect on several scoring chances. A Caps goal in that moment would have likely put the game away.
Instead, the Leafs came roaring back, finding an extra gear in their speed game and putting the Caps on their heels, especially in the third period, when Washington didn’t register its first shot until there was 6:35 left.
The Leafs’ Auston Matthews collected a goal and an assist, his first two points of the series — and, thus, of his career — in easily his best game.
The real winners on this night? The fans. What a game, and what a series — three straight overtime affairs and a series that has the look of going the distance.