Heartbreak at the Verizon Center

Leafs scorers: Winnik (2), van Riemsdyk (5)
Capitals scorers: Ovechkin (8), Backstrom (5)

Goalies: Win (Holtby), 63:23 minutes played, 23 saves, 2 GA, Reimer (Loss), 65:00 minutes played, 29 saves, 2 GA

After a tough overtime loss against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday evening, the Toronto Maple Leafs were looking to rebound in their game against the Washington Capitals on Saturday. With just two wins on the season, the Leafs hoped that their improved effort over the last few games could lead to so much needed points.

As the first period got underway, the Leafs found themselves up by one on a goal from Daniel Winnik, just two minutes into the game. The Leafs have struggled with getting on the board first and with holding onto the lead, but it remained 1-0 throughout the rest of the first.

But it wouldn’t be long before the Capitals got on the board and Alex Ovechkin tied the game on a power play goal just four minutes into the second. Although both teams generated several scoring chances throughout the period, neither could come away with the go-ahead goal.

With the game in its final period, it was the Leafs turn to capitalize on the power play and James van Riemsdyk gave his team the lead again just before the period hit the mid-way point. It seemed like the Leafs were going to come away with two points as the game neared its final minutes, but Alex Ovechkin struck again and tied the game at 2-2. However, Mike Babcock argued that James Reimer was interfered with and the goal was called back. But the Capitals were determined to get at least one point and Nicklas Backstrom got the equalizer with just 0.8 seconds remaining.

The game eventually needed a shootout to decide a winner and with Tyler Bozak, Nazem Kadri, and PA Parenteau missing on their attempts, it was easy for Alex Ovechkin to win the game for his team in the fourth round, handing the Leafs a 3-2 loss.

Despite suffering yet another loss as a result of a late goal, Mike Babcock seemed optimistic and applauded his team’s effort while speaking to the media after the game.

“When you talk to your guys, I think that they feel pretty good that they are playing right and when you play right over a period of time, you get rewarded in the end.”

The Leafs are set to play the Dallas Stars on Tuesday evening.