Leafs scorers: Rielly (3), Franson (4), Bozak 2 (11), Clarkson (7), Lupul (3)
Capitals scorers: Brouwer (6), Wilson (2)
The Leafs squared off against the Washington Capitals on Saturday evening and with a moving tribute to Pat Quinn before puck-drop, it would prove to be a match up that was brimming with emotion. The Leafs had been out of action since Wednesday when they suffered a 3-2 overtime loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The first period was off to a rapid pace with plenty of chances for both sides to strike first. But it was the Leafs who appeared to be the more dominant team, and several of their shots were all but finding the back of the net, until Morgan Rielly finally got his team up by one. As the period was almost set to expire, the Capitals found themselves in penalty trouble and Cody Franson added to the Leafs lead on the power play with less than a minute remaining.
Although the Leafs have been prone to allow a goal in the opening minutes of the game through much of this season, it was Tyler Bozak who scored just 23 seconds into the second, putting the Leafs ahead 3-0. The Capitals hadn’t completely given up and were finally able to get on the board when Troy Brouwer scored a power play goal. But the celebration was short lived as David Clarkson scored his seventh goal of the season just 30 seconds later. It took only four minutes for Bozak to score his second goal of the evening, giving the Leafs a commanding 5-1 lead.
Both teams were trading power plays as the third got underway and Tom Wilson got his team within three just before the midway point of the period. But Joffrey Lupul’s goal would put the game away for the Leafs with just four minutes remaining, giving his team a 6-2 win.
Tyler Bozak’s two-goal night earned him the game’s first star and he spoke to the media after the game about his strong play over the last few games. “The puck is kind of following me around a little bit. I’m playing confident and line mates are making great plays to me, so its been nice for these past few games and hopefully I can keep going for a bit.”
Although Alex Ovechkin is usually an offensive leader when the Capitals play the Leafs, he was kept off the scoreboard on Saturday and did not register a single goal or assist on any of the Capital’s two goals. The Leafs will host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday evening.