After dropping consecutive contests to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens this week, the Washington Capitals headed to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs and try to get back to their winning ways. The Capitals outshot the Leafs 50-28 in regulation and overtime, but the Leafs take it in the shootout, 2-1.
Despite out shot-attempting and outshooting the Leafs through the first and second period, the Leafs went up 1-0 on a David Clarkson deflection halfway through the second. The goal was reviewed for possibly being played with a high stick, but the call on the ice stood.
Mikhail Grabovski, returning to Toronto for the first time since he was bought out by the team, had a little bit of a scare at the end of the second period. He got tripped up on his way out of the Leafs’ zone and was caught by David Clarkson’s skate right below his right eye. He got stitched up during 2nd intermission and 20 stitches later, rejoined the team in the third period.
Late in the third, Alex Ovechkin scored his 20th goal of the season off a dump in from Mike Green, tying the game at 1-1. As soon as the puck hit the ice, Ovechkin had it on his stick. His quick-release shot beat Leafs goaltender James Reimer and left Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf bewildered.
Ovechkin has 43 goals in his last 45 games. He is on pace for 73 goals this season.
Overtime was not enough to decide the game, so it was up to the shootout to decide the game. Eric Fehr was the only Capital to get a shot past Reimer, who faced 50 shots through three periods and overtime, and after a curious decision to put Brouwer in the shootout (he missed) the Leafs win, 2-1.
The Capitals have a couple of days off to recover from their back-to-back games before they take on the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday and the Montreal Canadiens on Friday, both at home.