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Capitals vs. Leafs Recap: Regular Season Regulation Win is All Toronto

Washington falls to the Maple Leafs 7 to 3 in Toronto.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Game notes:

  • 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).