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game recap

Andersen makes 30 saves, Maple Leafs shut out Capitals

Brown, Kadri score for Toronto in playoff rematch

by Brian McNally / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Frederik Andersen made 30 saves for the Toronto Maple Leafs in a 2-0 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Tuesday.

Connor Brown scored at 5:53 of the third period to give Toronto a 1-0 lead, poking the rebound of a Morgan Rielly point shot past goalie Braden Holtby.

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Nazem Kadri scored into an empty net with 22 seconds left to make it 2-0.

"Obviously, you don't mind the shutouts," said Andersen, who earned his first of the season and the 11th of his NHL career. "It's fun for the team and myself to have a game where pucks don't go in."

Toronto (5-1-0) was allowing 3.80 goals per game entering Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs, who entered with the best power play in the League (30.8 percent), were 0-for-2 on the man-advantage with three shots on goal.

Video: TOR@WSH: Andersen stands tall for two quick saves

Holtby made 28 saves for the Capitals (3-3-0).

"[Andersen] was great and so was Holtby," Brown said. "I think we gave up more than we'd like, but we did a lot of good things to get through the neutral zone and hang on to pucks. It was good to find one there."

Washington forward Tyler Graovac, in the lineup to replace center Lars Eller (illness), left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury after he was hit by Toronto forward Matt Martin on two shifts. Graovac is expected to miss some time, Capitals coach Barry Trotz said.

It was the first game between the Maple Leafs and Capitals since Washington won in six games in the 2017 Eastern Conference First Round.

"When it's crunch time and you're getting close to the end of the year like we were last year, you look back on these kind of close games and think about the value that's in these points," Rielly said. "To get these ones and get rolling a little bit is a great feeling. But it's only six games."

Video: TOR@WSH: Holtby denies van Riemsdyk's partial break

The Capitals pulled Holtby with 2:06 remaining but had one shot on goal before Kadri scored.

Washington was 0-for-3 on the power play.

There was some consolation for the Capitals in an improved defensive effort from their 8-2 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

"Every loss is a missed opportunity," Capitals center Jay Beagle said. "But we played a really good, strong game in the [defensive] zone after not playing well in our own zone against Philly. That was a lot better."

 

Goal of the game

Brown snuck behind the Washington defense and got into a perfect position after a turnover at the blue line. Holtby stopped a soft shot by Rielly, but before he could gather the rebound, Brown lifted the goalie's stick and tapped in the puck.

Video: TOR@WSH: Brown puts home rebound to open the scoring

 

Save of the game

With the Capitals on the power play, Andersen dove headfirst to challenge Evgeny Kuznetsov at the bottom of the left face-off circle and used his stick to knock away the shot with 5:06 left in the second period.

Video: TOR@WSH: Andersen stuffs Kuznetsov on the power play

 

Highlight of the game

With Holtby pulled for an extra attacker and the Maple Leafs under pressure in the final minute, Toronto left wing Zach Hyman won a board battle and tapped the puck back to Rielly, whose quick pass to Kadri led to a zone exit. Kadri deked Ovechkin, beat him down the ice and scored despite the Capitals captain hooking him from behind.

Video: TOR@WSH: Kadri pots an empty-netter to seal win

 

They said it

"We have to be able to do it consistently. We have some tough matchups in the near future that we've got to be ready for. So we take this one. It feels good. But we move on. I think we play tomorrow, don't we? Do we play tomorrow? Yeah. We play tomorrow. So start thinking about that one." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly

 

"Any loss is tough. We did some things better today. But the outcome could've been a little worse if luck wasn't on our side in a few plays. We've got to keep a realistic mindset on that too." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby

 

Need to know

The Maple Leafs shut out the Capitals in Washington for the first time (73 games). … Ovechkin, who leads the NHL in goals (nine) and shots on goal (39), was held without a point for the second consecutive game.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN360, SN1, FS-D+, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Detroit Red Wings on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; FS-D, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Andersen blanks Caps in 2-0 victory

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