Saturday, January 11, 2014
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Capitals 3, Maple Leafs 2

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[January 11, 2014]  WASHINGTON  Capitals 3, Maple Leafs 2: Joel Ward scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period as host Washington rallied to hand Toronto its fourth consecutive loss.

After Nicklas Backstrom drew the Capitals even at 4:36 of the third, Washington surged in front for good at 11:51 as Ward fired a one-timer from the slot past Jonathan Bernier. Captain Alex Ovechkin added his league-best 32nd goal while Michal Neuvirth stopped 32 shots as the Capitals won their second straight following a four-game skid.

James van Riemsdyk and Phil Kessel tallied for the Maple Leafs, who have been outscored 21-7 during their slide. Bernier made 32 saves in defeat.

Bernier had the highlight of the opening period, snagging defenseman Karl Alzner's slap shot from above the faceoff circles in the final minute of the session. He wasn't as fortunate early in the second, as Ovechkin's shot from the low slot beat the netminder high to the stick side.

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Van Riemsdyk drew Toronto even on the power play near the midway point of the period, redirecting Kessel's shot from the left edge of the crease past Neuvirth. The Maple Leafs forged ahead in the opening minute of the third, as Kessel gathered van Riemsdyk's pass just inside the blue line and zipped a wrist shot over Neuvirth's left shoulder.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Ovechkin's goal was just his second in eight games. ... Toronto has one regulation win in its last 12 contests. ... The teams engaged in a pair of fights in the second period; Washington RW Thomas Wilson and Toronto RW Carter Ashton squared off at 14:58, with Capitals D John Erskine and Maple Leafs RW Colton Orr trading punches five seconds later.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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