Gardiner has spent most of this season in the minors after scoring seven goals and finishing with 30 points in 75 games as a rookie in 2011-12 with the Maple Leafs. He has 10 goals and 31 points in 43 games for the Marlies, going scoreless in two games for the Maple Leafs.
Gardiner, 22, was a first-round pick by the Ducks Anaheim in the 2008 NHL Draft. He was acquired with forward Joffrey Lupul in the deal for defenseman Francois Beauchemin on Feb. 9, 2011.
You get the right the whistles at the right times, you can leave him out there. He's a beast when it comes to being on the ice. I thought [Saturday] he was a big man. That first period, he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him. There's not too many guys that can do that.
— Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin, who enters February tied for the NHL lead in goals