Alex Ovechkin scored twice, Ilya Kovalchuk provided another and Ilya Samsonov did the rest in net on Tuesday to lead the Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in an NHL 20 simulated game.
Result: Caps 3, Maple Leafs 2
1-0 Caps goal: Alex Ovechkin from Evgeny Kuznetsov
1-1 Maple Leafs goal (power play): Zach Hyman from Denis Malgin
2-1 Caps goal: Ilya Kovalchuk from Richard Panik and Nic Dowd
3-1 Caps goal: Alex Ovechkin from Tom Wilson and John Carlson
3-2 Maple Leafs goal: Auston Matthews from Mitch Marner and Zach Hyman
How the Caps won
1. Ovechkin is back
Alex Ovechkin did not score in any of the first three games since NBC Sports Washington began broadcasting the NHL 20 simulations beginning on March 24. He finally broke through with a goal Monday against the Buffalo Sabres and the flood gates were open. He scored twice on Tuesday giving him three goals in two games.
Evgeny Kuznetsov cut off a breakout pass from Jake Muzzin and set up Ovechkin on the backdoor for Washington's first goal. In the third period, Kuznetsov won a puck battle and the Caps pulled off a nice passing play from Carlson to Wilson to Ovechkin for the one-timer. That goal proved to be the game-winner.
2. Kovalchuk breaks the tie
The Caps and Maple Leafs battled to a 1-1 tie through the first period. Kovalchuk made sure the game would not be tied again in the second with a heads-up play to the net.
Locked in a board battle in the corner of the offensive zone, the puck was kicked back to Panik near the blue line. For some reason, Kovalchuk was the only player in the corner who wasn't caught watching the puck. He made a quick cut to the middle out of the scrum and Panik returned the puck back to him. Kovalchuk had a step on defenseman Martin Marincin and beat goalie Frederik Andersen glove-side.
3. Ilya Samsonov
Washington was the better team in this game, but Toronto is a skilled enough team that they can strike quickly if there is no cushion on the scoreboard. The last several simulated games have been blowout wins for Washington, but this one was not. The Caps needed every last save from Samsonov and he delivered with an outstanding performance.
The Caps were scheduled to play the Minnesota Wild at home on Thursday. The game will be simulated with NHL 20 on NBC Sports Washington at 7 p.m.
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