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Capitals vs. Maple Leafs Recap: Gustafsson’s Gotcha in Washington Win

Erik Gustafsson’s hat trick propels the Capitals to a 5 to 2 win on home ice.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Washington Capitals Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Facing off for Hockey Night in Canada the Capitals upset former friend Ilya Samsonov and the Maple Leafs 5 to 2 in Washington.

Here’s Saturday night’s Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: An Erik Gustafsson hat trick.
  • Minus: Any Auston Matthews goal.

More notes on the game:

  • Midway through the first frame Gustafsson got the Capitals on the scoreboard first. Sonny Milano and John Carlson picked up assists on the scoring play.
  • But two minutes later hometown kid William Nylander knotted the score at one. A Swede shot from just outside the slot was all it took to tie the game.
  • Trevor van Riemsdyk responded before intermission with his fourth of the season. A knuckle puck from forty feet eluded Ilya Samsonov and put the Capitals ahead again.
  • Early in the second period Gustafsson tallied again. More good work from Milano eventually put the puck on Gustafsson’s stick and he finished the opportunity.
  • Four minutes later Matthews drew the Maple Leafs within one once again. A quick shot from distance eluded Charlie Lindgren - and Matthews celebrated accordingly.
  • Ten seconds into the third period Garnet Hathaway tallied an insurance goal. Picking up a loose puck in the slot Hathaway snapped his shot home, beating Samsonov cleanly.
  • And at 43:47 Gustafsson completed his hat trick (also the first three goals of his season). Aliaksei Protas registered his fourth assist of the season on the play.