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Leafs Rally Twice But Fall Short

Sunday, 06.11.2005 / 7:50 PM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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Leafs Rally Twice But Fall Short

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Alexander Ovechkin reached an early milestone Sunday with a two-goal performance. What made it even better was it came in a Washington Capitals victory.

Ovechkin, the top pick in the 2004 NHL draft, scored the 10th goal of his young career, both on power plays, to lead the Capitals to a 5-4 win Sunday over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ovechkin leads all rookies in goals scored, and he has 15 points in 14 games this season. It was his fourth two-goal game of the season.

"When I have a chance to shoot, I like to shoot it,'' Ovechkin said. "I love scoring goals. But I'm trying to help the team win games. If we win and I score, I'm really happy.''

Matt Pettinger had a short-handed goal in the first period. Bryan Muir finished with a goal and an assist, and Brian Willsie scored his first goal in 11 games for the Capitals (6-8), who won their second straight game.

The Capitals scored four of their five goals on special teams, including three on power plays. In the previous nine games, Washington just one power-play goal.

Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said he hoped the team could build momentum off the success.

"A huge part of this game is mental both as individuals and as a group,'' Hanlon said. "The confidence that players seem to get by scoring goals is certainly no secret.''

Jeff O'Neill scored twice and rookie Kyle Wellwood had a goal and an assist for Toronto (7-6-2), which lost its third straight road game. Mats Sundin and Alexander Khavanov each added two assists.

"It's a pretty unhappy outcome, and pretty dissatisfying,'' coach Pat Quinn said. "The fact is, we didn't work hard enough tonight to get any kind of result. ... When you don't execute, you pay a price, and we did.''

The Maple Leafs tied the game twice, but never led.

"I'm not sure if it was us that had that bad of a game, but we were on our heels the whole game,'' Sundin said. "They were the better team, there's no doubt about it.''

The teams meet again Tuesday in Toronto.

Ovechkin's power-play goal with 4:59 left in the second period gave the Capitals the lead for good. He scored again during a third-period power play when his shot ricocheted off a defender's stick and into the net.

Olaf Kolzig had 25 saves for the Capitals. Toronto's Mikael Tellqvist, making his fourth appearance of the season, made 28 saves.

Notes: Muir snapped a three-year scoring drought on Friday ... Capitals C Petr Sykora missed his third consecutive game because of back spasms ... Capitals rookie C Jakub Klepis notched his first career assist on Willsie's second-period goal. Klepis had his first career goal Friday against Atlanta ... After the final buzzer, Toronto's Darcy Tucker and Washington's Chris Clark fought. Tucker was also called for slashing.

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