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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Toronto
(Thursday, January 31st)
Final Score: Toronto 3, Washington 2
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Nikolai Kulemin and Matt Frattin each netted a goal in the third period to lift the Toronto Maple Leafs over the Washington Capitals, 3-2, at Air Canada Centre.
James van Riemsdyk also scored for Toronto, while James Reimer stopped 20 shots in the Maple Leafs' second straight win.
"We played great as a team today. If there was a game we deserved to win it was this one," Reimer said. "I thought tonight our whole team just battled hard and we deserved it tonight."
Joel Ward and Alex Ovechkin lit the lamp for Washington, which has dropped two straight following its lone win of the season.
Michal Neuvirth made 37 saves in defeat.
Toronto trailed, 2-1, entering the third period, but was able to even the score 7:40 into the frame when Neuvirth could not hold on to Michael Kostka's one-timer from the right point and Kulemin poked the loose puck across the goal line for his first of the season.
The Maple Leafs then took their first lead of the contest a little over two minutes later. Nazem Kadri backhanded a pass from the right of the net across to the left, and Frattin ripped a shot into the twine before Neuvirth could make his way across the crease.
Reimer made the lead stand with nine saves in the final stanza.
"We're just giving up stuff that we shouldn't be giving up," Capitals forward Joey Crabb said. "When you have leads going into the third period, we should be closing those out."
Washington struck just 1:36 into the first period when Mike Ribeiro fed a pass from the right corner across the crease to Ward at the left of the net, where he chipped the puck home.
Toronto, however, was able to knot the game at the 8:19 mark of the opening frame during a lengthy power play after Jason Chimera was called for hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct as van Riemsdyk cleaned up a rebound from in front.
The Maple Leafs then failed to capitalize on consecutive penalties on the Capitals that included a two-man advantage lasting 1:18 to keep it a 1-1 game heading into the second period.
But the Capitals were able to regain the lead while on the man advantage 2:38 into the second, with Ovechkin's hard wrister from the top of the left circle that snuck between Reimer's pads.
Toronto could not net the equalizer despite receiving three power plays in the period.
Washington had won the last three meetings between the teams and three of the last four in Toronto ... The Capitals went 1-for-3 on the power play ... Toronto was 1-for-8 with the man advantage.
02/01 01:45:17 ET