Kasperi Kapanen hasn’t been played many games for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he’s wasting no time in providing big goals.
Brian Boyle made up for an anxiety-inducing penalty in the first overtime by sending an obscenely nice pass to Kapanen, who scored the 4-3 double-overtime-winner to tie Toronto’s series with the Washington Capitals at 1-1.
Kapanen’s first NHL goal was a tally that helped the Maple Leafs clinch a playoff spot, yet he notched an even bigger one just a bit more than a week later. He ended up with two goals overall on Saturday, so you can bet that this will be a night he’ll never forget.
Now the series shifts to Toronto all knotted up.
The Maple Leafs managed 1-0 and 3-2 leads in this game, trading punches with Washington (especially early on). Naysayers will no-doubt critique their struggles in protecting leads, especially when you consider that Nicklas Backstrom‘s game-tying goal involved 78 seconds of zone time for the Capitals.
As you would expect, it was a nervy affair in the first overtime, with both teams receiving power-play opportunities. The best chance almost certainly came after a power play, however, as Alex Ovechkin almost scored a breakaway goal after exiting the penalty box.
Mitch Marner‘s backchecking effort was big then and even bigger with the hindsight of this win.
The kids are indeed alright, and they’re currently making life very difficult for the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winners.