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Maple Leafs Even Series Against Capitals with Double-OT Win in Game 2

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistApril 16, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 15: Kasperi Kapanen #28 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebratres a second period goal with Jake Gardiner #51 against the Washington Capitals in Game Two of the Eastern Conference First Round during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffsat Verizon Center on April 15, 2017 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs got revenge on the Washington Capitals, evening up their Eastern Conference playoff series with a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 2 on Saturday at Verizon Center. 

Kasperi Kapanen got to play hero for the Maple Leafs with two goals, including the game-winner with eight minutes remaining in the second overtime. Brian Boyle made the play, deking Washington goalie Braden Holtby with a fantastic behind-the-back pass. 

NHL @NHL

Double OT goal goes to @kasperikapanen1, but ALL the credit to @BriBrows22 on the beauty dish. WOW! #StanleyCup https://t.co/ehPHS6RcgK

TSN's Mark Masters noted Kapanen has a knack for coming up huge in critical moments:

Mark Masters @markhmasters

Golden goal at World Juniors Tying goal in Leafs playoff clincher Double OT winner in Game 2 Kasperi Kapanen magic in big moments

Both teams went back and forth throughout the contest. Toronto took an early lead at the end of the first period on James van Riemsdyk's goal, as the Maple Leafs relayed on Twitter:

Toronto Maple Leafs @MapleLeafs

.@Jgardiner272 spins and circles to set up @JVReemer21 for the opening goal. #TMLtalk #StandWitness https://t.co/E2ADYCvw5K

The second period saw an offensive outburst from both teams as they combined for four goals, capped off when Morgan Rielly beat Holtby with 14 seconds left for a 3-2 lead, as the NHL showed:  

NHL @NHL

Morgan Rielly ended the period in the best way possible. Simple as that. #StanleyCup https://t.co/XlI28RmAmP

The Maple Leafs' margin would stick until the 13th minute of the third period when Nicklas Backstrom evened things up with a rebound goal just out of Frederik Andersen's reach. The Capitals showed the action on Twitter:

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Washington Capitals @Capitals

THIS = CAPS HOCKEY #RockTheRed https://t.co/7L3lFqGanR

These teams have gotten very familiar with each other through two games in the series. The Capitals won Game 1 by a 3-2 final in overtime and decided to outdo themselves Saturday with a marathon session. 

Naturally, as with any marathon game in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the internet was bunched up in knots anxiously awaiting a winner:

Michael Jenkins @JenksNBCS

"Hi, I'm Michael Jenkins from CSN. I'm a Washington Capitals fan and recently increased my daily dosage of Prozac."

theScore @theScore

This Capitals-Leafs overtime... https://t.co/gx9tBtj0v2

Richard Deitsch @richarddeitsch

Damn, this @Capitals=@MapleLeafs game.

Both teams had golden opportunities to win throughout the overtime periods. Andersen had a fantastic sequence midway through the first overtime that kept the Maple Leafs alive, seen here courtesy of the NHL:

NHL @NHL

The #NHLOT pressures are clearly not getting to @f_andersen30. #StanleyCup https://t.co/HCxA9dfVrn

Holtby showed his skills in the second overtim, stopping a shot by Boyle right in front of the net that could have turned into a disaster for the Capitals.

The panic level in Washington is on the rise after it lost Game 2. The Capitals, who won the Presidents' Trophy during the regular season, fell behind quickly, 2-0, against Toronto in Game 1 before scoring three unanswered goals. 

The Capitals were unable to hold a 2-1 lead or score in the final 47 minutes of game time to hold serve on their home ice. They gave Toronto an opening that it took full advantage of, as the Leafs head back home for Game 3 with a chance to take control of the series.

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