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Capitals blow away Leafs for 8th straight win
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin and Martin Erat posted a goal and assist each, as the Washington Capitals continued their recent domination with a 5-1 victory over Toronto at Verizon Center.
Troy Brouwer, Jack Hillen and Marcus Johansson also tallied, while Mike Ribeiro, Mike Green and John Carlson added a pair of helpers each for the Capitals, who have won eight straight games.
"We honestly haven't talked about statistics, how many (wins) in a row, aren't we playing good," said Capitals head coach Adam Oates. "One of the things we do talk about is, that I expect all those guys to be pros. You can enjoy tonight for sure, but tomorrow we play Ottawa."
Braden Holtby won thanks to 29 saves.
Mikhail Grabovski's third-period marker was the lone offense for the Maple Leafs, who could have locked up a playoff berth with a win and a Jets regulation loss to Tampa Bay.
Ben Scrivens was tagged for all five goals on 37 shots in defeat.
Grabovski finally put the Leafs on the board just after the three-minute mark of the third, but a Johansson shot found the back of the net just after the midway point to restore the Caps' four-goal margin.
"We weren't very good tonight. We didn't do a lot of things well," said Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle. "It looked like we had nothing in the tank."
Washington struck with 5:33 left in the opening period, when Hillen's left- point blast deflected off a Leafs stick and zipped past Scrivens.
Ovechkin's trademark left-circle blast settled inside the far post thanks to an Erat tip on a power play with 5:03 played in the second period and gave the hosts a 2-0 edge.
It was a 3-0 spread for the Caps when Brouwer slipped a shot under Scrivens on a rush at 7:55, and a four-goal game thanks to a one-timer from the bottom of the left circle by Ovechkin with 6:01 to go.
Washington's current winning run is its longest streak since taking nine in a row from Feb. 26-March 15, 2011 ... Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul returned after a five-game absence due to a concussion ... Erat's goal was his first since being acquired from the Nashville Predators, and first since March 21 against Calgary ... Toronto has not seen postseason hockey since 2004.
04/16 23:51:44 ET