Sandin, Maple Leafs recover late to defeat Capitals

WASHINGTON — Rasmus Sandin scored the go-ahead goal with 3:23 remaining in the third period, and the Toronto Maple Leafs recovered for a 5-3 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Monday.

With the teams playing at 4-on-4, John Tavares won a puck battle behind the net and fed Justin Holl, who sent a cross-ice pass to Sandin in the left circle after the defenseman had cut in behind Alex Ovechkin.

“I think [Tavares] works really hard to get the puck back and makes a terrific pass out to ‘Hollsy’ first,” Sandin said. “I didn’t think he saw me, but he did. So I was very happy with that. I got a missile right on my tape and I just tried to get it in.”

Video: TOR@WSH: Sandin pots go-ahead goal in 3rd

Mitchell Marner had two assists, and Petr Mrazek made 30 saves for the Maple Leafs (35-14-4), who have won three straight.

“I liked the game,” Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said. ‘I thought we were good in a lot of areas, except the power play (0-for-4). Otherwise, I thought the guys did a good job.”

Tom Wilson scored two goals, and John Carlson had three assists for the Capitals (28-18-9), who have lost three in a row overall and six straight at home. Ilya Samsonov allowed three goals on 10 shots before being replaced at the start of the second period by Vitek Vanecek, who made 16 saves in his first game since Feb. 1.

“There’s frustration. I think you’re probably angry more than anything else,” Laviolette said. “It’s our building and we’re not getting it done. Something’s got to be better.”

Michael Bunting gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead at 2:35 of the first period. Marner lifted the stick of Washington defenseman Martin Fehervary to win the puck in the right corner before passing to Bunting in the low slot.

Garnet Hathaway almost tied it at 5:54 when his deflection hit the post and bounced off the back of Mrazek, but Auston Matthews stretched out his stick and helped his goalie clear the puck off the goal line.

“You need sometimes little bounces like that to win the game, and that one was on our side today,” Mrazek said. “Great defensive play by ‘Matty.'”

Conor Sheary was able to tie it 1-1 with a redirection at 16:23, but William Nylander made it 2-1 at 18:49 when he scored from below the right circle off a pass by Tavares from behind the net.

Holl extended the lead to 3-1 with 1.6 seconds left in the period, knocking in a loose puck during a scramble in the crease.

“The ending of that first period was tough,” Laviolette said. “You’re looking at a game where it’s tight. I thought we generated a lot, we didn’t give up much until the end, and then we let up two goals towards the end of the first period, and that’s not good.”

Video: TOR@WSH: Wilson grabs another goal with SHG

Wilson pulled the Capitals to within 3-2 at 10:11 of the second period when he redirected Ovechkin’s pass in the slot on the power play. He then tied it 3-3 at 1:44 of the third period, beating Mrazek glove side on a 2-on-1 while shorthanded.

After Sandin put Toronto back in front, Pierre Engvall shot into an empty net at 18:59 for the 5-3 final.

“I think once we found our game, we realized how to kind of tilt the ice and they didn’t get much,” Wilson said. “But when you’re playing a team like that, you give them a little space, they’re going to make plays. … It’s a tough one, but we’ll just keep moving forward here.”

NOTES: Marner has scored 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in a four-game point streak. … Holl has scored seven points (one goal, six assists) in a four-game point streak. He scored six points (one goal, five assists) in his first 38 games this season. … Bunting leads NHL rookies with 19 goals this season. … Ovechkin and forward Evgeny Kuznetsov each was minus-4. … Vanecek missed the previous eight games with an upper-body injury. He had a conditioning assignment for Hershey of the American Hockey League on Sunday.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.