TORONTO (AP) -Washington coach Glen Hanlon credited enforcer Donald Brashear for stopping a Toronto rally.
Alexander Ovechkin scored his 24th goal, Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves and the Capitals held on for a 3-2 victory over the Maple Leafs on Saturday night.
Mats Sundin scored twice in the third period to rally Toronto. He scored on a penalty shot at 3:16 and again just 14 seconds later.
After Washington called a timeout, Brashear and Toronto's Wade Belak quickly followed with a fight that got the crowd on its feet.
"Brashear did a good job in his scrap to settle things down," Hanlon said.
Alexander Semin and Dainius Zubrus also scored power-play goals for the Capitals.
Toronto had several chances to tie it, but Sundin missed the net on a partial breakaway and Kolzig had several impressive stops in the third. The Leafs had a power play late in the period, but Washington killed it off.
Kolzig noticed a different Toronto team after they were booed off the ice trailing 3-0 at the end of the second.
"It was a case of Toronto not wanting to be embarrassed in their own building on Hockey Night in Canada," Kolzig said. "They came out a little harder in the third. They made it close, but not close enough."
Before the game, Toronto announced center Michael Peca will miss at least three months after breaking his right leg and suffering ligament damage in Friday's game in Chicago. Peca collided with Chicago defenseman Jim Vandermeer.
Toronto was also missing Alexei Ponikarovsky (separated shoulder) and Kyle Wellwood (hip flexor).
"Peca is arguably one of the best defensive forwards in the league, but a lot of teams fight through injuries," Sundin said. "We're a bubble for a playoff spot. We need to have more desperation. We need more urgency."
Ovechkin entered the day tied for second in the NHL in goals. He scored the first of Washington's three power-play goals in the second by putting a rebound past Andrew Raycroft at 12:01. In six career games against the Maple Leafs, he has seven goals - six on the power play - and two assists.
Semin assisted on Ovechkin's goal and, just 1:28 later, beat Raycroft on the glove side.
Zubrus made it 3-0 at 18:27 after skating backward from behind the net and putting a shot past Raycroft.
Notes: Washington's Brian Sutherby and Toronto's Darcy Tucker tussled in the second period after Sutherby elbowed Tucker in the head and Tucker slashed Sutherby. ... A 12-year veteran, Peca has four goals and 11 assists in 35 games this season. He signed a one-year deal with the Leafs in the offseason. He has 164 goals and 245 assists in 728 career games. "He's not a guy you immediately replace," said Toronto general manager John Ferguson, who declined to say if Peca has played his last game for the Leafs. ... The Capitals have won consecutive games in Toronto for the first time since a three-game run from February 1997-January 1999.