Maple Leafs hope to build on comeback momentum, face Capitals

The visiting Toronto Maple Leafs and the Washington Capitals both aim to ride the momentum of overcoming two-goal deficits on Saturday into their meeting Tuesday night.

The Maple Leafs had the better result, rallying from 3-1 down in the third period at Tampa Bay before winning 4-3 in overtime.

The Capitals were behind 2-0 in the third before losing 3-2 in overtime to the host Montreal Canadiens.

Matthew Knies scored twice — his first regular-season NHL goals — in the third period and John Tavares scored in overtime for the Maple Leafs, who had lost their two previous games.

“It feels incredible, you know, it just feels awesome to get those to fall,” Knies said. “(Max Domi) made some incredible passes. It feels really good to come out with a win.”

Toronto, second to the Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division last season, has won three of its five games so far.

“We stayed with it and I was happy to see our guys get rewarded,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “With their goalie playing the way that he was and Tampa playing as hard as they were, you thought maybe time was going to run out for us.”

Backup goaltender Joseph Woll replaced Ilya Samsonov early in the game and stopped all 28 shots that he faced.

“That was awesome,” Woll said. “It was a huge win for us, to get back in the win column. Just to see how hard we can work and battle back. Two big goals by Knies.”

Woll had been scheduled to play Tuesday, and that has not changed.

“He’s definitely going to play the next game, but keep building up the good days has been the message to him,” Keefe said.

“He’s hungry. It’s a great sign for a young player.”

Dylan Strome scored both goals for the Capitals in their comeback. But Montreal’s Cole Caufield scored the overtime winner.

“I thought we did take some positive steps tonight,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said. “Big picture-wise, all three periods, I would say, especially the third period, we are really, really struggling to finish and score goals right now. So for us to fight back there … I like the character and the battle back.”

The Capitals have scored just six goals through four games, the lowest total in the league.

“Obviously, we’re having a tough time scoring right now,” Strome said. “We felt good on the bench in the third period, and everyone was digging in deep. Just had that feeling like we were going to come back.”

Capitals goaltender Darcy Kuemper said Saturday’s rally was an encouraging sign.

“I think you saw a little bit more of our character come out (Saturday),” Kuemper said. “To be down 2-0 going into the third and then have the penalty trouble we did, but then just sticking with it, it was really nice to see.

“I think it was really positive for our group to battle through that adversity, and to be able to come back and tie the game. Unfortunately, you don’t get two points, but definitely a step in the right direction.”