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Maple Leafs 3, Capitals 2

The SportsXchange

TORONTO -- Matt Frattin and Nikolai Kulemin scored third-periods goals, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2, come-from-behind win over the Washington Capitals on Thursday before a crowd of 19,374 at Air Canada Centre.

James van Riemsdyk also scored for the Maple Leafs, who outshot the Capitals 40-22 in winning their second game in a row. Toronto (4-3-0) won at home for the first time this season.

Joel Ward and Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington (1-5-1).

Frattin scored his fourth goal of the season on an assist from Nazem Kadri at 9:53 of the third to put the Maple Leafs into the lead after the Capitals were sloppy in trying to clear the puck.

The Capitals tried to come right back after the goal. They buzzed James Reimer in the Toronto net for a spell but did not score.

The Leafs tied the game at 7:40 of the third period when Michal Neuvirth couldn't control a shot taken by Michael Kostka and a sprawling Kulemin scooped the puck into the goal for his first of the season.

The Maple Leafs could not capitalize on their power-play and shots-on-goal advantages in the first period, and they had to be content with a 1-1 tie at the first intermission.

The Capitals took advantage of an early power play in the second period when Ovechkin scored his second goal of the season on a 47-foot wrist shot past Reimer from the edge the left face-off circle at 2:38. Mikhail Grabovski was off for tripping. The Maple Leafs had three more power plays, some on marginal calls, in the second period and did not score, and they finished the night 1-for-8 with the man advantage.

The Capitals took the lead at 1:36 of the first period. Ward was left unchecked, and he scored his fourth goal of the season on a 19-foot snap shot from a sharp angle.

Phil Kessel hit a goal post during the Maple Leafs' first power play of the game. The Leafs tied it on their next power-play opportunity after Jason Chimera was given four minutes in the penalty box, for hooking and unsportsmanlike conduct. Van Riemsdyk had a clear shot, and he notched his fourth goal of the season at 8:19 after Neuvirth's save on Kessel.

NOTES: Forward Brooks Laich participated in the morning skate with the Capitals, the first time this season he has been on the ice with the team since he suffered a groin injury playing in Switzerland during the lockout. The 29-year-old said he expects to practice regularly with the team but no date has been set for his return. He has been skating for the past 2 1/2 weeks. ... The Maple Leafs assigned defenseman Jake Gardiner to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL. They recalled forward Ryan Hamilton, who scored three goals in the AHL all-star game and was named MVP. He replaced Mike Brown (shoulder) on the fourth line. ... The Leafs claimed forward Frazer McLaren off waivers from the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. He is expected to join the Marlies. ... The Caps are home to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. ... The Leafs are home to the Boston Bruins on Saturday.
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