NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Washington|
(Sunday, March 11th)
Final Score: Washington 2, Toronto 0
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Michal Neuvirth made 23 saves for his third
shutout of the season and Washington strengthened its grip on a playoff spot
with a 2-0 win over the slumping Toronto Maple Leafs.
Brooks Laich and Mathieu Perreault provided the goals for the Capitals, who
notched their third consecutive win to move four points ahead of both Winnipeg
and Buffalo for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Washington remains one point behind first-place Florida in the Southeast.
Jonas Gustavsson stopped 21 shots for a Toronto team that was blanked for the
second day in a row. The Maple Leafs, coming off a 1-0 shootout loss to
Philadelphia on Saturday, have dropped four straight and 14 of 16 overall.
"Of course it's frustrating for all of us, we really wanted to get a couple of
wins," Gustavsson said. "I think the guys have been working real hard for it
too, [but] for some reason we haven't been able to score goals."
Washington failed to cash in a power play early in the contest, but Laich
opened the scoring with a short-handed goal. Laich picked off a drop pass from
Toronto rookie defenseman Jake Gardiner in the neutral zone and beat
Gustavsson from the right circle with a wrister midway through the first
"Gardiner started skating [the puck] up and he didn't look at me and I was
behind him," Laich said. "I was actually surprised [that he dropped it]. I
thought he was just going to dump it, but he did drop it and then I was able
to make a play off it."
Perreault flipped a rebound off an Alexander Semin shot over a prone goalie
from the side of the net to double the Capitals' advantage 42 seconds into the
Neuvirth played in his 100th NHL game and recorded his seventh career
shutout...Semin has 398 career points...The Capitals improved to 5-0-1 at home
against Toronto since a 2-1 regulation defeat March 5, 2009...The Maple Leafs
opened a five-game road trip.
03/11 20:30:52 ET