WASHINGTON — Alex Ovechkin had a goal and a career-high four assists, Mike Knuble scored twice, and the Washington Capitals got 28 saves from Jose Theodore in a 6-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday night.
The five points were a season high for Ovechkin, the reigning two-time NHL MVP. He scored his 29th goal with only 49 seconds elapsed to get the Capitals off to a quick start during their third game in four nights, then assisted on Washington's next four goals.
Both of Knuble's goals came in the second period, boosting the Capitals' lead to 4-0. He has five goals in his last five games.
After coming off the bench for an ineffective Michal Neuvirth in Washington's previous two games, Theodore started what he finished in a fine performance against the NHL leaders in shots on goal.
Tomas Kaberle scored on the power play for the Maple Leafs, who have lost five of six overall and five straight on the road.
Vesa Toskala, who blanked Philadelphia just 24 hours earlier in Toronto, yielded a goal on the first shot he faced and fell to 7-10-2.
Ovechkin opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the right circle after taking a pass from Nicklas Backstrom. It was one of only two shots on goal by the Capitals in the first 12 minutes.
Washington went up 2-0 with 2:09 left in the period. After Ovechkin broke his stick on a slap shot from a few feet inside the blue line, Eric Fehr swept the slow-moving puck past Toskala for his career-high tying 12th goal of the season.
Early in the second period, after Toronto's Francois Beauchemin hit the post with a shot, Ovechkin went the other way and took a shot. The puck ended up in the crease, and Knuble tapped it into the net.
Knuble's second goal came after Toronto defenseman Ian White dipped his stick into the crease behind Toskala to bat away a shot by Ovechkin. But Knuble was there for the rebound.
Kaberle ruined Theodore's shutout bid with a blast from inside the blue line with 1:23 left in the period.
Ovechkin got his final assist with 13:13 remaining and Washington on the power play. After the Capitals won the draw, Ovechkin rifled a shot that was deflected by Tomas Fleischmann past Toskala for a 5-1 lead.
Tom Poti completed the scoring with 8:54 left.
Capitals D Brian Pothier was scratched because of an unspecified injury. To fill the void, the Capitals recalled John Carlson from Hershey of the AHL. … The teams split four games this season. … Mike Green had two assists for Washington, extending his points streak to seven games. … Of Kaberle's team-high 40 points, only five are goals.
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