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Game Day Preview

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Washington Capitals (9-10-2-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (8-11-2-0).

TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

Jaromir Jagr thinks the Washington Capitals' best effort of the young season is enough to turn the campaign around.

"It's a new 20 games for us," Jagr said "We might be the league's highest-scoring team over the next 20.

"Maybe things are going to change. You never know."

Jagr and the Capitals begin that pivotal 20-game stretch, which will take them to the season's midpoint, when they take on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Washington ended a five-game winless streak Saturday by scoring three goals in an 88-second span in a 6-3 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. Michael Nylander and Mike Grier had two goals apiece for the Capitals, 0-4-1-0 in their previous five games.

Aided by three power-play goals, the offensive outburst was the best of the season for Washington, which had scored as many as three goals in only five of its first 20 games.

"When you haven't won and you're in a winless streak, it's tough to really get after guys," Capitals coach Butch Cassidy said. "We just said, 'We're going to score our goals. Let's just be better away from the puck and better with it in our own end.' I think that's what happened."

Toronto had won four of five before Monday's 2-0 setback to the Ottawa Senators.

Ed Belfour made 29 saves for the Maple Leafs, who were shut out for the first time since a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia on Jan. 19, 2002.

Capitals - 20 points, 4th place, 7 PB, Southeast Division.
Maple Leafs - 18 points, 4th place, 12 PB, Northeast Division.

Capitals - Jagr, 11 goals and 24 points; Sergei Gonchar, 15 assists; Rick Berry, 31 PIM.
Maple Leafs - Alexander Mogilny, 11 goals and 22 points; Tomas Kaberle, 12 assists; Tie Domi, 38 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 24):
Capitals - Power play: 17.1 percent (18 for 105), 14th in NHL. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (96 for 117), 20th (tied).

Maple Leafs- Power play: 21.2 percent (22 for 104), 5th. Penalty killing: 85.7 percent (96 for 112) 8th (tied).

Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (7-6-1, 0 SO, 2.35 GAA); Craig Billington (2-1-0, 2.69).
Maple Leafs - Belfour (7-7-2, 2, 2.23 GAA); Trevor Kidd (1-4-0, 4.23).

SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 2-1-1.

March 21; Capitals, 4-3. At Toronto, Jagr scored two goals and had two assists to lift the Capitals to their first win of the season against the Maple Leafs. Dainius Zubrus added a goal and two assists for Washington, which got 19 saves from Kolzig. Gary Roberts scored twice, and Robert Reichel added a tally for Toronto.

Capitals - 4-6-2-0 on the road; <
Maple Leafs - 6-7-1-0 at home.
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