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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 halted.

"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 game.

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.

Game Notes

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


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