NHL Game Summary - Toronto at Washington
(Wednesday, January 21st)
Final Score: Toronto 3, Washington 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alexei Ponikarovsky snapped a tie with two goals in the third period, as the Toronto Maple Leafs held on for a 3-2 victory over Washington at the MCI Center.
Craig Johnson also lit the lamp for Toronto, which has won two straight since a home-and-home sweep at the hands of Philadelphia.
Ed Belfour made 21 saves in the victory, and kept the Leafs in it late after Washington pulled within 3-2 on Peter Bondra's goal in the final six minutes.
Trent Whitfield scored the other goal for the Capitals, who had a five-game point streak snapped (3-0-1-1). Olaf Kolzig turned aside 18-of-21 shots in the loss.
The game was tied 1-1 after two periods, but Ponikarovsky gave the Maple Leafs a 3-1 lead with two goals in less than five minutes during the third.
His first came on a slapshot from the blue line that split a pair of defenders and found its way past Kolzig for a 2-1 score just 3:43 into the stanza.
"It was just one of those seeing-eye things that got in and with the way we're playing, the games we're having, those are the ones we have to stop," Kolzig said.
His second was the result of a nice tic-tac-toe play with teammates Tomas Kaberle and Nik Antropov. Ponikarovsky found himself to the left of Kolzig for a tip-in at 8:28.
"It's just weird," said Ponikarovsky, who has scored four of his seven career goals against Washington on the road. "You just play, get chances and score goals."
Bondra got the Capitals within a goal when he beat Belfour stick-side with a point shot on the power play, but Washington was kept out of the net for the remaining 5:40 of play.
After a scoreless first period, Whitfield gave the Capitals a 1-0 advantage with his second of the season, scoring from the doorstep at 3:05.
But Johnson evened the game with his second of the campaign, rebounding a shot while falling to the ice in front of the net.
Toronto is 3-4-0 in its last seven games...Washington fell to 3-2-2 in its last seven at home...The Maple Leafs won the season series, 2-0-2, and are 6-0-2 in the last eight meetings.
01/22 01:19:42 ET