Maple Leafs at Capitals
Alex Ovechkin is among the league leaders in shots on goal with 34, but the two-time Hart Trophy winner has yet to produce a point in back-to-back games. Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals both get another chance to jump start their seasons when the Toronto Maple Leafs visit on Tuesday. The Capitals are waiting to break out offensively and stand near the bottom of the league in goals against, searching for the form that helped them to get within one victory of the Eastern Conference finals a season ago.
The Maple Leafs have scored only four times in the last three games, are struggling on the power play and still await forward Phil Kessel’s first goal. Toronto did beat the Capitals 3-2 at home Thursday and have won three of their four contests on the road this season.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Leafs TV (Toronto), CSN Washington
ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (4-5-0): Toronto peppered Carolina goalie Cam Ward with 42 shots on Monday, but lost a 4-1 decision. The Leafs are 4-of-42 on the power play in the last eight games since converting two of five chances with the man advantage on opening night. Kessel, who had 10 power-play goals last season, has come up empty in 40 shots on goal. No. 1 defenseman Dion Phaneuf has only one point and is minus-6. The Leafs are getting production from their young players. Nazem Kadri has a team-best eight points and Matt Frattin leads the Leafs with five goals. James Reimer has started the last five games in goal.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (2-6-1): Washington could not follow up a solid victory over Philadelphia, dropping a 6-3 contest to Pittsburgh on Sunday. Goaltender Braden Holtby, who performed well in the playoffs last spring, has struggled with a .862 save percentage. Mike Ribeiro has a team-best 10 points, but the offense is averaging 2.33 goals. “I think we’ve got guys trying to do too much right now because of the situation that we’re in,” forward Troy Brouwer told the Washington Post. “Everyone wants to win it for themselves.” The Capitals are 18th on the power play, 21st in face-off percentage and 26th killing penalties.
1. Washington plays four of the next five on the road after facing the Maple Leafs.
2. Toronto outshot Washington 40-22 in the first meeting.
3. Washington D John Erskine serves the second of a three-game suspension for elbow to the face of Philadelphia Wayne Simmonds.