TORONTO (AP) -Playing for the fourth time in six days and then losing two players to injuries became too much to overcome for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Milan Jurcina's third-period goal stood up as the winner and the Washington Capitals beat the sluggish Maple Leafs 2-1 on Saturday night.
Toronto lost defenseman Luke Schenn and winger Niklas Hagman to injuries before the game was half over. The short bench was especially tough to manage since the team spent Friday traveling back from the West Coast and has had a heavy schedule of games.
"Luke logs a lot of minutes and so does Haggy," coach Ron Wilson said. "We had to go to Plan B and C. ...
"You're a little tired and you want to play almost four lines and certainly six defensemen. We couldn't do that."
The coach said that Schenn will be out at least two weeks with the lower-body injury he suffered after getting hit by Alex Ovechkin early in the second period. The prognosis was better for Hagman, who took a knee in the head and was feeling groggy. He's considered day to day.
Karl Alzner also scored for Washington while Nik Antropov scored for the Maple Leafs.
Alzner opened the scoring with his first NHL goal. The 20-year-old defenseman floated a shot past goalie Vesa Toskala - who was screened by Ovechkin - at 1:41 of the second period.
The Capitals almost took a 2-0 lead midway through the period, but Brooks Laich's goal was called back after video review showed that he kicked the puck in the net.
The Capitals earned their first road victory since Nov. 19.
"I thought they were a tired team," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I was really surprised they came on as much in the third. I thought if we could have of got that two-goal lead, they might have folded.
"But they don't quit. They've got a lot of heart."
Added Ovechkin: "It's a huge win. I think today was kind of a boring game, not lots of chances for goals, but the most important thing is we took two points."
Ovechkin has dominated the Leafs with 11 goals in 13 games against them during his career, but wasn't able to add to that total. He had a couple of good chances and was robbed by Toskala late in the second period when he broke free of defenseman Jeff Finger and nearly scored while lying on his stomach. He also had a shot go off the post in the third period.
"It's scary," Toskala said of Ovechkin. "He can make goalies look bad."
The Leafs had a few more good chances in the third period, especially when Ovechkin took successive penalties.
Antropov broke through on the second of those power plays. He scored his 10th goal of the season at 6:12 of the third when he beat Brent Johnson with a wrist shot not long after the Caps goalie looked like he might have injured himself making a toe save.
Johnson stayed in the game and watched Jurcina score the winner a minute after Antropov had tied it. Jurcina's shot from the point found its way through a crowd and behind Toskala.
The Maple Leafs have won just four times in 13 home games this season.
Notes: After going 17 games without being outshot, the Leafs have been outshot in five of six games. ... Mike Green (shoulder), Sergei Fedorov (ankle), Tom Poti (groin), Alexander Semin (torso), Brian Pothier (concussion), Chris Clark (forearm), Jeff Schultz (finger) and John Erskine (concussion) sat out for the Caps. ... Toronto was without Jamal Mayers (hand), Jonas Frogren (arm) and Mike Van Ryn (hand). ... Former general manager Cliff Fletcher, now a consultant with the Leafs, attended his first home game since Brian Burke was hired as GM.
|Karl Alzner (1) ASST: NONE|
1 - 0 WSH
|PPG - Nik Antropov (10) ASST: Matt Stajan (15), Tomas Kaberle (14)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Milan Jurcina (2) ASST: Michael Nylander (13), Karl Alzner (2)|
2 - 1 WSH
|Lee Stempniak Too many men/ice - bench|
|Shaone Morrisonn Hi-sticking against Ryan Hollweg|
|Ryan Hollweg Roughing against Shaone Morrisonn|
|Milan Jurcina Hooking against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|John Mitchell Delay of game|
|Alex Ovechkin Hooking against Mikhail Grabovski|
|Alex Ovechkin Holding against Ian White|