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3 reasons why the Capitals beat the Maple Leafs

3 reasons why the Capitals beat the Maple Leafs

It was closer than perhaps it should have been.

But still, the Capitals skated away from the Air Canada Centre victorious on Saturday with a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was the second quality road-win in a row for the Capitals. How did they get it done north of the border?

Here's how:

1. Alex Ovechkin's First Period:
Big deficits are hard to overcome when playing in the second game of a back-to-back.

Ovechkin single-handedly put the Leafs down by two in the first period. His first goal was the 574th of his career, putting him ahead of Mike Bossy for 21st on the all-time scoring list.

Even when the Leafs made their late push, they never were able to overcome the 2-0 deficit Ovechkin put them in after the first 20 minutes.

RELATED: UPDATED NHL POWER RANKINGS

2. The First 40 Minutes:
For two periods, the Caps dominated in just about every way. They allowed more shots to the Leafs, but Toronto barely threatened Braden Holtby.

The Leafs looked like a team that played the night before. The Caps looked like they had fresh legs and took advantage as they outskated Toronto.

That was especially evident on Vrana's goal when he took a one-on-one with Nikita Zaitsev and turned it into a breakaway with his pure speed.

3. Dmitry Orlov:
No defenseman played more against Auston Matthews than Orlov who logged 9:22 against the dynamic forward.

Orlov was phenomenal against him and shut him down completely. Orlov was physical on the boards and solid on one-on-one defensive plays to make sure Matthews.

Matthews logged only one assist, but it was on a broken play as he lost the puck and Jake Gardiner collected it and fired a shot from the blue line for the goal.

For the most part, Matthews was a non-factor and that was because of the work of Orlov.

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Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

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NBC Sports Washington/USATSI

Alex Ovechkin and wife Nastya Ovechkina welcome baby boy

After lifting the Stanley Cup just over two months ago, something else very exciting has happened in Alex Ovechkin's life.

Saturday morning, Nastya and Alex Ovechkin welcomed their first child, a baby boy named Sergei, after Ovechkin's late brother. 

Ovi spent this week practicing at the Florida Panthers' facilities with other NHL players living in the surrounding area.

After the Cup's visit to Moscow, Nastya and Alex settled down at their apartment in Miami, staying put and preparing for the birth. 

The couple were married two years ago but didn't hold an official ceremony until July of last year. The celebration was as lavish as you'd expect.

She revealed her pregnancy shortly after the Cup victory, and has kept us up to date on life this summer via Instagram. A few weeks ago, the Ovechkins graced HELLO! Russia magazine, showing off Nastya's baby bump among their glamour shots.

💛 @aleksandrovechkinofficial #hello #hellorussia @hello__ru

A post shared by Nastasiya Ovechkina (@nastyashubskaya) on

Congratulations to Ovi and Nastya, and all our best wishes for health and happiness!

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Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals draft pick admits he is...a Flyers fan

Say it ain't so.

Mitchell Gibson is the first goalie the Capitals have drafted since Ilya Samsonov in 2015, but they may be thinking twice about their selection after a recent shocking interview.

Gibson spoke with a local Philadelphia CBS station and revealed that both he and his family...are Flyers fans.

Insert dramatic music.

"I think my family will always be Flyers fans in their hearts and I guess I will be a little bit," Gibson admitted, hopefully with guilt in his voice.

Gibson was selected by the Caps in the fourth round of the 2018 draft, but clearly the scouts did not do their homework. It's as if Gibson grew up a hockey fan in a place like Phoenixville, Pa. (about an hour outside of Philadelphia) without anticipating the future that he may one day be drafted by a rival team like Washington.

Shame, shame.

The young netminder tried to make up for his horrifying admission later in the interview.

"The Capitals are definitely treating me well right now so I would like to be their goalie," he said.

A likely story.

Gibson is only 19 and set to begin his first collegiate season at Harvard in 2018 so at least there is still time for Gibson to overcome his shameful past. And hey, it could always be worse. At least he's not a Penguins fan.

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