Tuesday, February 05, 2013 9:37 pm
Van Riemsdyk gets 2, Maple Leafs top Capitals 3-2
By JOSEPH WHITEAP Sports Writer
Ben Scrivens made 24 saves for the Maple Leafs, who broke a two-game losing streak and maintained their road-ice advantage in the early part of the season. Toronto is 4-1 on the road - and only 1-4 at home.
Marcus Johansson and Mike Ribeiro scored power-play goals for the Capitals, who have lost eight of 10 to start the season and sit at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings. Two-time league MVP Alex Ovechkin was held to one assist and has only two goals and three assists on the season.
Michal Neuvirth made 18 saves for Washington, but he allowed Holzer to go five-hole with a slap shot from near the blue line midway through the second period, giving the Maple Leafs a 3-1 lead and the German defenseman his first NHL goal in his fifth game in the league.
The Capitals were strong early in the first period, giving Scrivens all he could handle on a power play that included a save on a blast by Ovechkin from the left circle. But, shortly after the penalty was killed, an embarrassing mistake at the other end of the ice gave the Maple Leafs the first goal of the game.
Neuvirth went behind the net to play the puck and left it for defenseman Tom Poti. Van Riemsdyk swooped in between the two, took the puck and put it in on a wraparound before Neuvirth had any chance to get back in position.
Van Riemsdyk put in a second-chance rebound less than 3 minutes later to give the Maple Leafs a two-goal lead.
It took a mad scramble in front of the net on a power play for the Capitals to get one past Scrivens. Tomas Kundratek, getting his first NHL point, slid a pass to Johansson, who was stationed by the crease to knock in his first goal of the season.
After Holzer gave the Maple Leafs a two-goal lead, the Capitals pulled within one again on Ribeiro's power-play goal with 13:13 to play.
Scrivens, getting the call over James Reimer as the Maple Leafs played the second night of a back-to-back, stopped another drive from Ribeiro a few minutes later and raised his arm to stop a shot from Poti late in the period as Toronto held on for the win.
Notes: Maple Leafs sniper Phil Kessel is struggling as much as Ovechkin. Kessel had two assists Tuesday night - putting his total at six for the season - but he remains without a goal and is stuck on 99 since joining the Maple Leafs in 2009. He was also in the penalty box during Johansson's goal. ... The teams met in Toronto last week, with the Maple Leafs winning 3-2 after trailing 2-1 going into the third period.
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