Capitals drop season series to Maple Leafs

Lars Eller, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Lars Eller, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-1 in John Tavares 1,000th NHL game.

The Caps one goal came from Nicklas Backstrom for his first of the season at 17:17 on the power play. It was assisted by Marcus Johansson and Conor Sheary.

They took that 1-0 lead into the dressing room while being outshot 10-7.

From then on, it was all Leafs. Michael Bunting scored on the power play at 1:29. Morgan Rielly added one at 7:00. Then it was William Nylander at 10:45 and Pierre Engvall at 14:20.

4-1 was the score after two with the Leafs outshooting the Caps 13-12.

The Caps outshot the Leafs 5-4 in the third period but were outshot 27-24 overall. Former Penguin Zach Aston Reese made it 5-1 at 16:47 and that would be the final.

The Caps have one more game before the all star break. That comes on Tuesday night at the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Caps are now in a dangerous position. After the all star break comes their bye week and by the time they are back to action, teams like the Buffalo Sabres could catch them and suddenly put them outside of a playoff position.

Backstrom is well aware of this predicament the Caps are in:

"“If you want to make the playoffs … you have to put a couple wins together. That is what we need. It is too tight in the standings and, I mean, teams are catching up.”"

Despite the loss the Caps, for now, hold the top spot in the Eastern Conference Wild Card by just one point over the Pittsburgh Penguins with a 26-20-6 record and 58 points. They trail the third place Metropolitan Division New York Rangers by four points.

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The Caps have lost three of their last four, four of their last six, and six of their last nine. Their first game after the break is Feb. 11 at the Boston Bruins.