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Leafs Look To Keep It Up Vs. Caps

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
October 25, 2003

GAME: Washington Capitals (1-5-1-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (3-2-2-0).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT. Coming off a successful five-game road trip, the Toronto Maple Leafs and their resurgent offense host the struggling Washington Capitals.

Toronto went 3-1-1 on its road trip, and has scored eight goals in its last two games after recording just seven in its previous four.

Owen Nolan had two goals and an assist as the Maple Leafs beat the Phoenix Coyotes 5-4 on Thursday.

The goals were Nolan's first of the season. He had seven in 14 games with the Maple Leafs last season after they obtained him from San Jose in a trade on March 5.

"He was pressing," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "I mean, let's face it, that's a lot of stuff on his shoulders. A lot of people were waiting for him to be the Owen Nolan we want to have."

Nik Antropov, Joe Nieuwendyk and Ken Klee also scored for the Leafs, who went into the contest with just 10 goals in six games.

Nieuwendyk had his second goal in two nights after scoring the winner at Dallas on Wednesday, which had left Nolan as the last of the team's big scorers without a goal.

Washington lost 5-1 to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

The Capitals are 0-5-1 since opening the season with a 6-1 win over the New York Islanders. They have been outscored 24-10 during the winless streak.

Jaromir Jagr hasn't had a point in five games for the Capitals. He had a goal and an assist in each of the first two games.

Bates Battaglia played his first game with the Capitals since being acquired Wednesday from the Colorado Avalanche. Battaglia had his best season with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2001-02, scoring 21 goals and 46 points in 82 games. He was struggling to get ice time with Colorado.

"He's had a lot of success in our division and in this conference," Capitals coach Bruce Cassidy said. "He's a strong skater on the puck and a hard-working guy."

John Gruden returned to Washington's lineup after missing four games with a strained groin.

STANDINGS (through Oct. 23): Capitals - 3 points, 5th place, 8 PB, Southeast Division. Maple Leafs - 8 points, 4th place, 2 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Peter Bondra, 4 goals; Robert Lang and Sergei Gonchar, 4 assists; Lang, 7 points; Jason Doig, 24 PIM. Maple Leafs - Antropov, 3 goals; Tomas Kaberle, 4 assists; Nolan and Kaberle, 4 points; Tie Domi, 13 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 23): Capitals - Power play: 15.4 percent (6 for 39), 18th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.1 percent (30 for 37), 21st. Maple Leafs - Power play: 12.8 percent (5 for 39), 21st. Penalty killing: 80.6 percent (29 for 36), 22nd.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (1-4-1, 0 SO, 3.43 GAA); Sebastien Charpentier (0-1-0, 0, 4.05). Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (2-2-2, 1, 2.34); Mikael Tellqvist (1-0-0, 0, 3.09).


LAST MEETING: Oct. 13; 2-2. At Toronto, Kolzig made 34 saves and Lang scored the tying goal during a power play to help rally the Capitals.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 0-4-1-0 on the road; Maple Leafs - 0-1-1-0 at home.

- Associated Press
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