Alex Ovechkin scores hat trick to lead Capitals past Maple Leafs
Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Curtis McElhinney (right) and Nazem Kadri combine to deny Washington Capitals' Evgeny Kuznetsov during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto, on Saturday, November 25, 2017.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
David Alter, The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, November 25, 2017 11:09PM EST
TORONTO - Alex Ovechkin scored a hat trick to lead the Washington Capitals past the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 on Saturday night.
Ovechkin scored two of his three goals in the opening period for the Capitals (14-10-1). Jakub Vrana also chipped in and Braden Holtby made 27 saves for his 13th win of the season.
Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev replied in the third period for Toronto (15-9-1). Curtis McElhinney stopped 17 shots in defeat.
Ovechkin's first goal occurred when he skated with the puck through the neutral zone before taking a wrist shot from just outside the left face-off circle and beating McElhinney at 12:03.
It was Ovechkin's 574th goal of his career, which put him past Mike Bossy for 21st all-time.
He scored his second goal at 19:13 while on the power play. The goal was Ovechkin's 217th of his career with the man advantage, which moved him into a tie with Calgary Flames forward Jaromir Jagr for the most among active NHL players.