The Washington Capitals and their NHL 2nd ranked penalty kill unit came into Verizon Center to face a Toronto Maple Leafs team that was carrying a five-game winning streak and had won the last meeting 4-2 back on November 26th. This high-scoring game would require extra time to finish but it was only 22 seconds’ worth as Caps captain Alex Ovechkin would end Toronto’s win streak and extend Washington’s win streak to three with a 6-5 overtime victory. Ovechkin set a franchise record with his 19th game-winning goal in overtime. Toronto is now 1-3-2 in their last six games against Washington and still have not won in Washington since 2013.
Caps winger Justin Williams helped snap two streaks with his power play goal to start off the game in the first period for his eighth goal in his last 13 games. It snapped the 0-for-17 drought for Washington on the man-up and it ended Toronto’s 22-straight killed penalties streak coming into tonight, Williams ended the night with three points. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov snapped a 17-game goalless streak with a goal early in the third and ended the night with four points. The Caps would tie the game up one minute and 19 seconds later on a Dmitry Orlov slap shot, Orlov’s first goal since November 16th (20 games) of this season. Additional Caps goals were scored by T.J. Oshie, John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin. After three goals given up in the first period Caps starting goalie Braden Holtby was pulled at the end of the first period ending the night with five saves on 8 shots. Backup goalie Philip Grubauer replaced Holtby and ended his night with 15 saves on 17 shots.
Washington’s 29-consecutive penalties killed streak would be snapped on a goal by Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri at 6:39 into the first period. The scoring would continue for the Leafs in the first period as winger Connor Brown would score his 4th goal in his last five games and center Frederik Gauthier would score his 2nd goal of the season and his first point since December 23rd. Another power play goal would be scored by the Leafs Leo Komarov late in the second period for his second straight game with a goal. Forward Mitch Marner would put the Leafs up with his 10th goal of the season in mid-third period, he had two points on the night. Last month’s Rookie of the Month Auston Matthews and winger James van Riemsdyk each assisted twice. Leafs starting goalie Frederik Andersen stopped 23 shots on the night.
The Caps will have Wednesday off then will come back onto the ice at Verizon Center in hopes of extending their winning streak to four against the red-hot Columbus Blue Jackets. Game time will be 7:00 PM/ET.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Keelan
Former High School and College athlete (football, Wesley College).