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Sliding Leafs battle Caps in DC

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to avoid a fourth straight setback on Friday night as they wrap up back-to-back road games with a clash against the Washington Capitals.

The Maple Leafs are mired in a defensive rut, having given up 18 goals over their losing streak. It hasn't helped that the offense has managed just five goals in that span, three of those in one game.

Toronto managed just Joffrey Lupul's tally in last night's 6-1 setback to the Carolina Hurricanes.

James Reimer yielded six goals on 36 shots for the Leafs, who have not won since a 3-2 shootout decision over Detroit in the Winter Classic.

"This wasn't the game we wanted to play tonight," said Reimer. "I wanted to hang in there and keep it as close as I could, but they got one early in the second and then another one in the third. That was tough."

The Capitals come in having also been in action on Thursday night, when they logged a 4-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning. Washington failed to hold a two-goal lead and allowed a game-tying goal with 5:30 left in the third period, but Eric Fehr bailed out his club by scoring his second goal of the game with 52 seconds to play.

Marcus Johansson and Mikhail Grabovski also scored, while Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin added one assist apiece to help the Capitals snap a four- game slide (0-2-2).

Philipp Grubauer made 33 saves.

"We were lucky to be able to come back and get the win," Fehr said.

The Capitals have lost three of their past four to the Maple Leafs, including a 2-1 shootout decision in Toronto on Nov. 23. Reimer made 49 saves and Lupul had the go-ahead goal in the tiebreaker.

Jonathan Bernier is likely to get the start tonight for the Leafs and has won both of his previous career appearances versus the Capitals while stopping 42- of-45 shots.

Ovechkin scored versus Toronto and Braden Holtby made 27 saves.

Holtby could draw the start tonight and is a solid 2-0-1 in his career versus Toronto with a 0.97 GAA.

The Maple Leafs have lost six of eight and seven of their last 10 in Washington.

01/10 11:04:15 ET