Ovechkin scores twice as Capitals blank Maple Leafs 4-0

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th and 41st goals of the season and added an assist, Braden Holtby made 32 saves, and the Washington Capitals defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 on Sunday night, snapping a three-game losing streak.

Ovechkin struck just 33 seconds into the game and added a second-period score as he surpassed the 40-goal mark for the seventh time.

Marcus Johansson and Joel Ward (empty net) added third-period goals for Washington, and Holtby picked up his seventh shutout and 30th win of the season.

James Reimer stopped 28 shots for Toronto, which has lost 16 straight road games. The Maple Leafs went 0 for 4 on the power play.

Washington took a 1-0 lead when Ovechkin took a pass just inside the blue line, skated into the left circle, and fired a wrist shot past Reimer for Washington’s fastest goal to start a game this season.

Ovechkin then did his celebratory jump into the boards and promptly fell, but was laughing as his teammates arrived to congratulate him.

The Capitals made it 2-0 at 5:30 of the second when Reimer made a save on a blast from the point by Brooks Orpik, but Ovechkin got the rebound and back-handed it home.

Holtby, meanwhile, thwarted several odd-man rushes, including against Zach Sill on a breakaway late in the second period.

Early in the third period, Toronto’s Richard Panik hit the post on an open-net backhander and slammed his stick into the glass in disgust.

The Capitals were also active off the ice over the weekend in advance of Monday’s trade deadline.

They swapped defensemen with the Hurricanes on Saturday, acquiring Tim Gleason from Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Jack Hillen and a draft pick. Gleason made his Capitals debut against the Maple Leafs.

On Sunday, Washington sent a pair of draft picks to Calgary for forward Curtis Glencross. The 32-year-old Glencross had nine goals and 19 assists in 53 games this season for the Flames.

NOTES: Toronto D Korbinian Holzer left early in the first period with an upper body injury. … The Maple Leafs claimed D Tim Erixon off waivers from the Blackhawks. Erixon, 24, has a goal and five assists in 27 games this season. … The Capitals re-assigned D Cameron Schilling and F Aaron Volpatti to Hershey of the AHL. … Ovechkin was named the NHL’s “Third Star” for the month of February. He led the league in goals (10), points (17), and power-play goals (five). … “Wheel of Fortune” host Pat Sajak was in attendance.

This article was written by HARVEY VALENTINE from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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