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Capitals-Maple Leafs Preview @NHL
Capitals-Maple Leafs Preview

GAME: Washington Capitals (6-8-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (7-6-2).

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

Ed Belfour will likely try to extend his unbeaten streak over Washington to eight games when the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Capitals Tuesday night at the Air Canada Centre in the finale of a home-and-home series.

Belfour, who did not start in Toronto's 5-4 loss Sunday to Washington, is 6-0-1 with 2.24 goals-against average in his last seven starts against the Capitals.

Overall versus Washington, he is 16-4-2 with a 2.05 GAA and two shutouts.

If the Maple Leafs hope to avenge Sunday's loss, they need to take advantage of their power play chances. Toronto, ranked second in the league in power play percentage, had seven power play opportunities Sunday but connected successfully on just one.

"It's a pretty unhappy outcome, and pretty dissatisfying," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "The fact is, we didn't work hard enough tonight to get any kind of result. When you don't execute, you pay a price, and we did."

Mats Sundin had two assists Sunday in his second game after missing 12 with a fractured orbital bone around his eye. Sundin has 15 goals and 36 assists in 43 games versus the Caps with 10 those assists have coming on the power play.

Meanwhile, rookie Alexander Ovechkin hasn't disappointed the Capitals.

Ovechkin, the top pick in the 2004 draft, scored two goals in the win over the Leafs. The left wing leads all rookies in goals scored (10) and ranks among the league leaders in goals scored this season.

With four two-goal games in the first 14 of his career, Ovechkin's confidence seems to be growing.

"When I have a chance to shoot, I like to shoot it," Ovechkin said. "I love scoring goals. But I'm trying to help the team win games. If we win and I score, I'm really happy."

The Capitals can credit their victory over Toronto to improved special teams play. Washington tallied four of its five goals on special teams, including three power-play scores.

In the Capitals' previous nine games, they had just one power-play goal.

STANDINGS (through Nov. 7): Capitals - 12 points, 4th place, 9 PB, Southeast Division. Maple Leafs - 16 points, 4th place, 7 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Ovechkin, 10 goals and 15 points; Steve Eminger, 8 assists; Chris Clark, 32 PIM. Maple Leafs - Eric Lindros, 8 goals; Bryan McCabe, 14 assists and 18 points; Wade Belak, 33 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Nov. 7): Capitals - Power play: 12.3 percent (10 for 81), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 77.8 percent (88 for 113), 27th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 24 percent (24 for 100), 2nd. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (78 for 95), 16th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (6-6-0, 0 SO, 3.61 GAA); Brent Johnson (0-2-0, 0, 6.41). Maple Leafs - Belfour (6-4-0, 0, 3.51); Mikael Tellqvist (1-2-0, 0, 3.38).

SEASON SERIES: Capitals, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 6; Capitals, 5-4. At Washington, Bryan Muir and Brian Willsie scored a goal each in support of Ovechkin.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 1-5-0 on the road; Maple Leafs - 5-3-1 at home.

Associated Press
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