Capitals smashed in Toronto as four-game winning streak ends


By the end of the second period of Thursday’s 7-3 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, the only good thing about the previous 20 minutes was that they were over. 

The Capitals allowed four Leafs goals in the second, as Ilya Samsonov was chased from the net in a dominating loss in Toronto. The Capitals' offense, defense and goaltending weren’t good enough, as the team’s four-game win streak came to a crashing conclusion. 

They are now 41-23-10 with the Montreal Canadiens up next on Saturday. Here are a few takeaways from the beatdown in Toronto: 

Four-game winning streak ends

There’d been a lot of good feelings surrounding the Capitals in the last week after three wins over playoff teams and a dominating 9-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday. 

Now it’s fair to say those feelings have been totally erased as the Capitals were dominated by the Leafs, another team contending for a Stanley Cup.

Paired with a Pittsburgh win over the New York Islanders, the Capitals are now five points out of the Metropolitan Division’s third spot with two games in hand and they'll need to make up ground in the final stretch if they want to avoid the No. 1 seeded Florida Panthers.

A wild second period

The Capitals weren’t very good for the entire game Thursday, but things truly went off the rails in the second period. 

The Leafs scored four goals, including two in 18 seconds, as they put the game out of reach with their second-straight dominating period. Despite a John Carlson tally, the Capitals couldn’t take control of the momentum and allowed a goal 11 seconds later. 


The game was effectively put out of reach as the Leafs poured goal after goal into the net, as the Capitals couldn’t seem to slow down the torrid pace of Toronto.

Samsonov doesn’t finish the night

Goalie Ilya Samsonov didn’t get much help in front of him, but the Russian netminder was pulled in the second period after allowing his fourth goal of the night. 

He ended up with 15 saves on 19 shots in just over 30 minutes in net as the Capitals goalie carousel continued. Vitek Vanecek came in to replace Samsonov, but he didn’t fare much better and made 10 saves on 13 shots. 

It’d be unfair to lay the blame for the loss on either goalie, as the Capitals’ net was under siege from the drop of the puck. 

A terrible start

The Capitals stumbled out of the gates.

They trailed 2-0 after the first period, and it could’ve been worse were it not for a spectacular save by Samsonov on William Nylander to keep the game within striking distance for a while. 

In total, the Capitals were outshot 11-4 and out-attempted 20-4 at five-on-five in the first 20 minutes.

Not many positives

For those looking at the Capitals’ glass half-full, there weren’t many positives to take from the night. 

One was that Carlson continued his stellar stretch of late and now has scored four goals in his last five games. The other was that Tom Wilson scored his 24th goal, continuing a career-best season, as he’s now the team’s second-leading goal-scorer behind just Alex Ovechkin. 

But other than that, the night was ugly from start to finish for the Capitals.