Big OT win shows Toronto Maple Leafs refuse to believe that they should go away quietly

WASHINGTON -- The Toronto Maple Leafs, considered too young to compete with the battle-tested Washington Capitals, have served notice that -- youthful or not -- they belong.

Kasperi Kapanen scored halfway through the second overtime to give the eighth-seeded Leafs -- who gained a playoff berth as the second wild card in the Eastern Conference -- a 4-3 victory Saturday night. It squared the first-round series of the Stanley Cup playoffs at 1-1.

Games 3 and 4 are in Toronto on Monday and Wednesday.

And you know the Leafs, who dropped Game 1 in overtime, will be brimming with confidence after having played the regular-season champions to a standstill through the first two games of this series.

Perhaps more important for the Leafs, they showed incredible bounce-back in hanging on for a crucial victory. In Game 1, they led 2-0 early but were overmatched the rest of the game.

The Leafs again scored first and also led by a goal into the third period before the Capitals forced overtime. But when it looked as if the Caps would roll to another victory, Frederik Andersen was spectacular in goal, stopping 47 of 50 shots, and Kapanen -- with his second goal of the night -- reinforced that the Leafs' time might be sooner than people thought.

It didn't look good for the Leafs when Alex Ovechkin, serving a slashing penalty for Braden Holtby, stepped out of the penalty box late in the first overtime and into a partial breakaway but was denied by Andersen. The overtime loss on the heels of Ovechkin's miss could be a turning point in the series.