NHL Game Summary - Washington at Toronto|
(Monday, October 29th)
Final Score: Washington 7, Toronto 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored twice as the Washington
Capitals embarrassed the Toronto Maple Leafs, 7-1, at Air Canada Centre.
Already playing without captain Chris Clark and leading defenseman Tom Poti,
the Caps were faced with further adversity when left wing Alexander Semin went
down with a recurrence of an ankle injury on Saturday and couldn't skate
against the Leafs.
It didn't matter, however, as Ovechkin carried the load and now has four goals
and five assists in his last four games.
Boyd Gordon, Matt Pettinger, Jeff Schultz, Matt Bradley and Brian Sutherby all
notched their first goals of the season, allowing Washington to post five wins
in the month of October for the first time since 2001.
Bradley added a pair of helpers, while Pettinger and Gordon each had one
apiece. Michael Nylander also chipped in with three assists and Olaf Kolzig
made 32 saves as the Caps snapped a two-game skid and won for just the second
time in eight games after starting the season 3-0.
"When your teammates give you a lead like that, that puts you in a huge
comfort zone," said Kolzig. "We needed that win. We haven't played this well
as a team since the first couple games of the season. We had a meeting as a
team after the game in St. Louis (on Saturday). We had to settle down, clean
things up in our own end and play a better game defensively."
Alexei Ponikarovsky had the lone tally for Toronto, which has also been beset
by injuries, playing minus the services of top defenseman Bryan McCabe and
young center Kyle Wellwood.
Vesa Toskala had a dreadful night between the pipes, allowing four goals on
just 13 shots before he was lifted with six minutes to play in the first
period. Andrew Raycroft came on in a mop-up roll and didn't fare any better,
allowing three goals on 17 chances as the Leafs had a two-game win streak
"It was close at first but we got a lot of bad bounces," said Leafs defenseman
Ian White. "Little things piled up and in this league when you don't play well
defensively the other teams make you pay for it."
The onslaught started just 3:19 into the contest, as Gordon made a nifty move,
chipping a feed from Bradley past a stunned Toskala with his back to the net.
Toronto tied it up just 31 second later as Jason Blake dropped the puck down
low to Mats Sundin, who then dished to Ponikarovsky in front. The left winger,
camped just off the crease, easily knocked home the disc to make it a 1-1
Washington used a power-play tally to claim the lead for good less than two
minutes later, however, as Viktor Kozlov had a shot bounce off the shoulder of
Toskala before Pettinger banged in the rebound at 5:26.
Ovechkin's howitzer from the left faceoff dot made it 3-1 at 11:57, while
Schultz helped to built a 4-1 margin when he wristed a soft shot past the
glove of Toskala, ending the netminder's evening.
Bradley continued the rout with 11:03 remaining in the second, scoring a
short-handed goal after a turnover by Blake, who coughed up the puck in the
neutral zone. Bradley pounced on the loose disc, charged over the blueline and
blasted a slapshot through the five-hole of Raycroft for a 5-1 cushion.
Ovechkin then lit the lamp for the second time at with 8:51 remaining in the
stanza, one-timing a pass from the top of the left circle through the legs of
Raycroft with the Caps skating on the man-advantage at 11:09.
A three-way passing play culminated with Sutherby's goal a little more than
six minutes into the third, giving Washington a sizeable 7-1 lead.
The short-handed tally was the first of Bradley's career...The Caps have won
three of their last five visits to Toronto...Ovechkin has nine goals and 11
points in nine career contests against the Leafs...Washington finished 2-for-5
on the power play, while Toronto didn't score on any of its five
chances...Schultz's goal was the first of his NHL career...Toskala was making
his first career appearance against Washington.
10/29 22:34:07 ET