Kadri's hat trick lifts Maple Leafs over Capitals
Nazem Kadri posted a hat trick plus one assist as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the visiting Washington Capitals 6-3 on Wednesday night. Kadri scored once in the first period and added two more in the third as Toronto broke open a close game. He also had an assist on Nikita Zaitsev's first goal this season.
This was the final game before the All-Star break for both teams. The Maple Leafs broke a two-game losing streak came into this game with a two-game losing streak but have still lost seven of their last 11 games. Washington, the defending Stanley Cup champion, continues to struggle on defense and has lost seven in a row and 10 of 13. The Capitals have allowed an opponent to get a hat trick in four of the last five games.
Washington led 2-1 in the second period and outshot Toronto 44-37 for the game but couldn't score enough. Toronto goalie Frederik Andersen finished with 41 saves, while William Nylander added three assists. The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin scored a second-period goal to tie him with Sergei Federov as the leader in NHL points amongst Russian players with 1,179.
Also, Ovechkin was involved in a collision with teammate T.J. Oshie in the first period. Ovechkin was examined in concussion protocol but came back later in the period. Nicklas Backstrom gave Washington a 1-0 lead on his power-play goal with 1:13 left in the first period. But Kadri tied it with 25 seconds remaining in the period by knocking a puck past goalie Braden Holtby from the crease.
Ovechkin gave Washington a 2-1 lead with his 37th goal of the season early in the second period before the Maple Leafs took command. Toronto tied the game on Zaitsev's goal with 6:49 to go in the period.
The Maple Leafs then took the lead for good when Auston Matthews scored on a quick shot from the left circle. That power-play goal came with 3:41 remaining in the second and let Toronto take a 3-2 lead into the third period. Kadri then scored at 2:10 and again just past the halfway point of the third period stretching the Maple Leafs' edge to 5-2.
Matt Niskanen added a late third-period Washington goal, and Mitchell Marner did the same for the Leafs. --Field Level Media
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