WASHINGTON -- Justin Williams scored 64 seconds into overtime as the Washington Capitals pulled out a 2-1 thriller over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday to take a 3-2 lead in their best-of-seven first-round series.
Williams' third goal of these playoffs and the 36th of his career was set up by Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Williams beat Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen between the pads and jumped into the arms of his teammates to celebrate a hard-fought contest.
Four of the first five games needed overtime to decide a winner, a testament to how close this series has been despite the disparity in regular-season point totals.
Braden Holtby played his best game in net for the Capitals by making 24 saves, while Andersen stopped 26 shots.
The Maple Leafs continued their trend of "dirty" goals in the second period as rookie William Nylander fired a shot in the direction of Holtby and a heavily trafficked front of the net. The puck ricocheted right to the stick of rookie Auston Matthews, who had an open net for his third goal of the playoffs to tie the score at 1.
The Capitals got a scare in the first period when Toronto center Nazem Kadri delivered what looked to be a low hip check on the left knee of Washington star Alex Ovechkin, who flipped in the air and lay on the ice for several minutes before being helped off the ice by two teammates.
Kadri was whistled for tripping, and on the ensuing power play, T.J. Oshie made the Leafs pay when he collected a rebound from a Nicklas Backstrom shot that pinged off the crossbar and beat Andersen to give the Capitals a 1-0 advantage at the 18:15 mark of the opening period.
Ovechkin emerged from the tunnel to an enormous roar to start the second period. On his opening shift, Ovechkin delivered a rattling hit to show he was fine.
Toronto has played four overtimes in a series twice before, per the NHL, in 1933 and 1951, while Washington did it in 2012.
NOTES: Washington recalled C Chandler Stephenson from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Friday. Capitals coach Barry Trotz said the move was for depth, and Stephenson was a healthy scratch along with D Taylor Chorney and C Paul Carey. ... Capitals D Karl Alzner missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Toronto scratched RW Ben Smith, LW Josh Leivo and D Alexey Marchenko. ... Game 6 is Sunday in Toronto.