Welcome to the Official Site of Leafs Nation - MapleLeafs.com
MapleLeafs.com proudly sponsored by ROGERS™ Welcome to the Official Site of Leafs Nation - MapleLeafs.com
Maple Leafs

Game Recap

Capitals 2, Maple Leafs 1

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

Share with your Friends

Capitals 2, Maple Leafs 1
Toronto Maple Leafs 1, Washington Capitals 2

Pics | Scorsheet | Stats Preview from D.C. | Pre | Game in Six | Post | Clips

WASHINGTON (AP) - Don't look now, but the Washington Capitals entered the All-Star break only one point out of first place.

Their season seemingly kaput when coach Glen Hanlon was fired on Thanksgiving Day, the Capitals entered the long weekend by winning for the fifth time in six games. Brooks Laich and Viktor Kozlov scored, and Alex Ovechkin assisted on both goals in Thursday night's 2-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The win gave the Capitals a split of the home-and-home, back-to-back series against Toronto and moved them within a point of Southeast Division leader Carolina. Washington is the only NHL team not to lose consecutive games in regulation since Nov. 22, the day Bruce Boudreau took over for Hanlon.

"It doesn't surprise me that things are starting to snowball into success," defenseman Mike Green said. "He doesn't make it comfortable around here by any means to make us feel satisfied with what we've done. We want to keep going and making sure we're making strides."

The Capitals were the worst team in the league -- with four fewer points than any other team -- when Boudreau was summoned from AHL affiliate Hershey. Asked if he thought he'd be this close to first place so quickly, the coach said: "No, but that's where I want to be."

He paused, then added: "I want to be one point ahead."

Brent Johnson, giving Olie Kolzig a night off, made 31 saves for the Capitals as the offense that had been clicking so well struggled for the second consecutive night. Ovechkin had his six-game goal-scoring streak snapped, but he still leads the league with 38 goals and his two assists give him 13 points in his last seven games.

"They out-skated us," Boudreau said. "Our goalie won us the game. We were very opportunistic."

Boyd Devereaux scored for the Maple Leafs, who lost two more players to shoulder injuries.

On Wednesday, Alexei Ponikarovsky dislocated his right shoulder when he was rammed into the boards by Capitals defenseman Steve Eminger. Ponikarovsky will be out for six weeks.

On Thursday, both Alex Steen and Darryl Boyce were injured. Steen was knocked into the boards by Milan Jurcina in the first period, and Boyce crashed into the boards after catching a rut in the ice in the second period.

Coach Paul Maurice said Steen was day-to-day but would miss the first game after the All-Star break. Maurice said Boyce had an injury similar to Ponikarovsky's. Both will be re-evaluated when they get back to Toronto.

"We're seeing a more physical brand of hockey being allowed in the game," Maurice said. "I don't necessarily have a problem with that. I prefer that we're not carrying guys off the ice for weeks at a time, but there's certainly more hitting in our game now."

The Maple Leafs are 1-1 since general manager John Ferguson was fired and replaced by Cliff Fletcher on an interim basis. Toronto has lost 11 of 13 on the road.

Laich's first-period goal, a redirect of Ovechkin's slap shot on a power play, was the only score for two periods. Devereaux tied the game on a similar play, directing Pavel Kabina's shot into the net, early in the third period.

But the Capitals needed only 36 seconds to retake the lead. Ovechkin's shot from the right circle yielded a long rebound off goaltender Vesa Toskala, and Kozlov was left uncovered in front of the net to convert.

The Maple Leafs played most of the final two minutes with a two-man advantage. Washington's David Steckel was sent off for boarding with 2:18 to play, and Toskala emptied the net with about 1:40 remaining. But the Capitals kept clearing the puck beyond the blue line, keeping Toronto from mounting a sustained attack.

"It seemed like forever," Boudreau said of the 6-on-4 advantage. "It shows character. Sometimes you need the skill guys to come through, sometimes you need the workers to come through. That's what makes teams win."

Game notes: The Capitals' streak of games without back-to-back regulation losses stands at 29, the franchise's longest since a 49-game span at the end of the 1999-00 season. ... The Capitals signed LW Donald Brashear to a one-year contract extension.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Brooks Laich (8) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (25), Tomas Fleischmann (13)
1 - 0 WSH
2nd Period
3rd Period
Boyd Devereaux (7) ASST: Pavel Kubina (20), Tomas Kaberle (24)
1 - 1 Tie
Viktor Kozlov (9) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (26), Nicklas Backstrom (32)
2 - 1 WSH
penalty summary
1st Period
Alexander Semin  Holding the stick against  Anton Stralman
Ian White  Hooking against  Boyd Gordon
Tomas Kaberle  Tripping against  Alex Ovechkin
John Erskine  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
Tom Poti  Tripping against  Jason Blake
3rd Period
John Erskine  Cross checking against  Nik Antropov
David Steckel  Boarding against  Ian White
goalie stats
Vesa Toskala
Vesa Toskala
SA: 20TOI: 58:23
Saves: 18EV: 17 - 18
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 1
SV%: .900SH: 1 - 1
Brent Johnson
Brent Johnson
SA: 32TOI: 59:53
Saves: 31EV: 21 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 8 - 8
SV%: .969SH: 2 - 2
torontomapleleafs.com is the official Web site of the Toronto Maple Leafs Hockey Club. The Maple Leafs and mapleleafs.com are trademarks of MLSE.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 MLSE and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Terms Of Use | Contact Us | Employment Opportunities | Advertise on mapleleafs.com | Privacy Policy | AdChoices | NHL.com Terms of Use | Site Map