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Leafs Razed By Ovechkin

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
Asif Hossain

January 15, 2010
Verizon Center
Washington, DC
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The most telling scenario of how overmatched the Leafs were on this night came right before the Capitals' fourth goal in the second period.

On a short handed rush, Leaf forward Alexei Ponikarovski tried to dangle past Alex Ovechkin, who was the last man back.  The Caps' captain expertly took the puck off Ponikarovski's stick and countered immediately, leading to Mike Knuble's second goal of the night and a 4-0 lead for Washington.

3-6-1 Leafs record on the second of back-to-back games this season (3 straight losses).
16-14 Caps outscored the Leafs in the season series as the sides split two games each.
4 Kessel extends his point scoring streak to this many games after recent criticism.
24 The amount of times Leafs have faced a 2-0 deficit this season.
.909 Toskala's SV% vs. Caps this season before the 6-1 loss.
1st Star
Alex Ovechkin
G A P +/- Shots
1 4 5 +3 2
2nd Star
Mike Knuble
G A P +/- Shots
2 0 2 2 3
3rd Star
Jose Theodore
29 28 1 59:39 .965
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This section wrote itself 49 seconds into the game when Ovechkin scored on his first shot of the game, firing a wrister past Vesa Toskala.

After that tremendous start, he went on to assist in the next four Caps goals, setting a career high for helpers in a game. His five point night took him to 62 points on the season from 39 games, which catapulted him past Sidney Crosby and Joe Thornton in the scoring race, where he is nestled two points back of league leader Henrik Sedin.

The Maple Leafs were out of it from the start and it is difficult to focus on any story apart from Ovechkin.  But that being said, Niklas Hagman stood out Friday night at the Verizon Center.

The Finnish winger had nearly 15 minutes (14:46) of ice time during which he amassed 10 shots on goal, which made him the game leader in that category by a wide margin.

Ovechkin's dominance over the Leafs is now officially legendary.

Coming into the game the Russian superstar had 17 goals and 10 assists in 18 games against the Leafs. After this five point night, his totals in the four-game season series against the blue and white closes at an incredible four goals and eight assists for 12 points.

Leafs head coach Ron Wilson on the Leafs' seeming inability to stop Ovechkin:

“Ovechkin makes things happen. If you play the game with a dear in the headlights mode, you are probably going to get run over like a dear would.”

Friday January 18 @ Predators
  8 PM ET (Sportsnet-O, AM640)

Game Notes:
The first and only meeting of the season between the Leafs and Predators will take place Monday at the Sommet Center.

With 61 points as of Friday night's 1-0 shutout over the Flames, the Predators are in the thick of a playoff race and looking to clumb up in the Western standings.

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