In the Capitals’ first visit to Toronto this season the hosts dominated their guests 7 to 3 at Scotiabank Arena.
Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Tonight this is just a Tom Wilson appreciation sentence.
Minus: Quick goals against in succession and being unable to stop the bleeding.
- Five minutes into the contest Michael Bunting brought Leafs fans to their feet with an early goal. Taking a pass in the slot from Mitch Marner the rookie Bunting put his shot up and over Ilya Samsonov.
- Midway through the frame William Nylander extended Toronto’s lead. Skating down the right side with speed Nylander’s slap shot was labeled for the top corner and a two goal lead.
- Through the opening twenty minutes the hosts outshot Washington 11 to 4. It was a sign of things to come.
- Halfway through the contest the Capitals finally got themselves on the scoreboard. John Carlson walked around Jake Muzzin and deked around Jack Campbell before tallying his 15th of the season.
- But just 11 seconds later Ilya Lyubushkin fired a high and hard shot that Samsonov couldn’t sniff.
- And 18 seconds after that Nylander picked up his second goal of the night. With the puck bouncing wildly in Washington’s zone Nylander found a loose puck and slipped it in to the net on the farside.
- That was the end of Samsonov’s evening, head coach Peter Laviolette wanting to try and force a change in momentum at the 30:37 mark.
- Things, however, would not change. Ilya Mikheyev scored next, shoveling the puck behind Vitek Vanecek from just to the right of the goal crease.
- Bunting was the next man up, connecting with Pierre Engvall on an odd man rush and finish off a strong pass to the net’s ceiling.
- Fifty seconds before the second intermission Tom Wilson responded for Washington. Two minutes after serving a fighting major Wilson ripped a Lars Eller pass past Campbell to give the visitors some life.
- An early third period goal from Mikheyev muted any thoughts of a Capitals comeback, the extra point on Toronto’s touchdown.
- Nic Dowd later scored for Washington, his ninth of the campaign bringing the Capitals’ goal total to three.
- Matt Irwin skated in his 400th career NHL game (and 17th with Washington).