TORONTO — Tyler Bozak scored 1:37 into overtime to cap Toronto’s comeback from two goals down in the second period, and the Maple Leafs beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 Monday night to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.
Auston Matthews and Nazem Kadri each had a goal and an assist, and William Nylander also scored for Toronto. Frederik Andersen made 23 saves.
Toronto trailed 2-0 in the first period, and then 3-1 early in the second before Kadri and Nylander scored 4:07 apart late to tie the score in the final minute of the period.
Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov all scored for the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Capitals. Braden Holtby stopped 24 shots.
All three games have been decided in overtime.
Game 4 is Wednesday night.
The Maple Leafs were hosting their first playoff game in almost four years and coming off an exciting double-overtime win in Game 2.
However, the Capitals got the early jump as they scored twice in the first five minutes with both goals coming from their vaunted top line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
Nate Schmidt, who was filling in for an injured Karl Alzner, got the first one started by rushing into the Toronto zone with speed before finding Backstrom crashing the net across the ice.
The Swede beat Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev there and stuffed in a shot on the short side.
Zaitsev was playing his first game of the series and first in the NHL playoffs after sitting out the opening two games with a suspected concussion.
BLUE JACKETS: Columbus’ uphill climb back into its first-round playoff series got even steeper when Blue Jackets Coach John Tortorella announced that rookie defenseman Zach Werenski will not play again this season.
Werenski, one of the NHL’s top first-year players, sustained a facial fracture when a Phil Kessel shot rode up the shaft of his stick and smacked him under the right eye during the Penguins’ 5-4 overtime victory in Game 3 Sunday.
After the game, Werenski posted a photo of his face on social media, showing the gruesome swelling and discoloration cause by the puck.
Werenski scored a power-play goal in the first period of Game 1 and established himself as a core player for the Blue Jackets at age 19.
Columbus, with good reason, expects him to be a difference-maker for a lot of years.
THE BLUE JACKETS, whose best season in franchise history included a 16-game winning streak, will try to get a win at home on Tuesday night to avoid being swept out of the first-round series by the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Columbus isn’t the only team in trouble.
The Minnesota Wild, who had a 12-game winning streak this season, are down 0-3 to the surprising St. Louis Blues and Cup favorites Chicago and Washington have been plunged into challenging first-round series of their own.
The Wild’s struggles are arguable the most perplexing.
Minnesota has outshot St. Louis 117-79, killed off 8 of 9 power plays but has never led. Game 4 is Wednesday at St. Louis. Blues goalie Jake Allen has a .974 save percentage and 0.91 goals-against average after being 3-5 with a .902 and 2.29 in his playoff career.