Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
The Washington Capitals beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Wednesday night at Verizon Center. With the win, the Capitals record improves to a league-best 47-12-4 (98 points). The loss dropped the Maple Leafs record to 21-31-10 (52 points). The Capitals next play host to the New York Rangers on Friday night at Verizon Center. Puck-drop is 7:00 PM.
The game marked the return of former Capital Brooks Laich, who was just traded to Toronto three days ago. The starting lines for the Capitals:
Philipp Grubauer got the start in net for the Capitals. Jonathan Bernier got the start for the Leafs. Nate Schmidt was scratched with a lower body injury, and is listed day-to-day. Michael Latta and Stanislav Galiev were the healthy scratches for the Capitals. John Carlson missed his 5th consecutive game due to injury.
Another slow start for the Caps, but this time it wouldn’t last for the entire first period, just the first 18 minutes. The Caps would be called for the games first three penalties, two of them delay-of-game penalties. However, the Caps would score two goals in the final two minutes to take a 2-0 lead to the locker room at the first intermission. The Caps let off the gas a bit, letting the Leafs crawl back into the game, knotting the game at 2-2 early in the third period. Matt Niskanan would notch the game winner mid-way through the final frame on a blast from the point. T.J. Oshie had a good game, posting three assists for the game. Team stats for the game can be found here: Individual player stats for the game can be found here: Faceoff stats for the game can be found here: Photos of the game can be found here:
The Capitals got off to another slow start, however this would not last the entire first period like games of recent days. The Capitals were called for the games first three penalties, but would not allow a goal during the Leaf’s man-advantages. At the 18:15 mark of the first period, Taylor Chorney would light the lamp, scoring his first goal of the season and first goal since February of 2011, ending a 64-game scoreless streak. T.J. Oshie did a good job protecting the puck and made a nice pass to Chorney.
28 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin scored his 41st goal of the season at the 18:43 mark of the opening frame.
The period ended with the Caps leading 2-0. The Leafs led in shots-on-goal, 8-6.
The Leafs scored quickly in the second period. At the 1:37 mark, Nikita Soshnikov scored his 1st career NHL goal to cut the Capitals lead to 2-1.
The second period would end with the Caps leading 2-1.
The Maple Leafs would tie the game on a goal by Colin Greening at 8:16 of the final frame.
However, Matt Niskanen would answer quickly on a power play goal at 9:31 of the final frame.
The Capitals would hold on for the 3-2 win.
The game against the Leafs was boring. This was a forgetable game just like the game against the Canadians and Wild. These games were “breaking bad”. The Caps have hit a wall just like mile 18 in a marathon. They can’t get up for the games. Trotz agrees and says it is up to the players. The one exception was Pittsburgh. The Caps played the body and showed much more determination. The western trip may be a good thing…practices can be held. New players can develop a better grasp of the system and get used to their new teammates. First period woes need to be fixed as the playoffs are five weeks away.
Also agree. They game had a strange feeling. Maybe it was 1 versus 30, or the whole Brooks Laich thing.
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