Matt Pettinger scored twice and the Capitals ended a four-game losing streak by beating the struggling Maple Leafs 5-3 on Tuesday night.
“It’s disappointing because you sit there at the end of the game and the other team is looking over at you and laughing,” Tucker said. “It’s not a fun thing, that’s for sure.”
Ovechkin said they were just “smiling and having fun in Toronto.”
Tucker, Nik Antropov and Chad Kilger scored for the Maple Leafs, who are in danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in coach Pat Quinn’s seven-year tenure. Toronto fans loudly booed the Maple Leafs as the final buzzer sounded on their third straight loss. The Leafs are three points behind Montreal for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“Maybe we aren’t as good as we think we are because we haven’t done well against the teams below us,” Quinn said.
Ed Belfour allowed five goals on 27 shots, including two weak goals in the first minutes of the game. Fans jeered the 40-year-old after he made a couple of easy saves after that.
“We got off to a bad start,” Belfour said.
After Belfour failed to collect a rebound, Willsie put it past him just 37 seconds into the game. Pettinger scored his first on a wrist shot that beat Belfour blocker side at 4:47.
Toronto failed to register a shot in the first 5 minutes and Washington had a couple of chances to run up the score early, but Antropov got momentum on Toronto’s side with a one-timer after a pass from Tucker.
Tucker tied it with a one-timer on the power play just over 2 minutes later.
But Ovechkin gave Washington the lead for good after Belfour failed to stop the puck from going past his net. It ended up in front of the net and deflected off Ovechkin’s leg and in just 19 seconds into the second.
“It was a funny goal,” Ovechkin said.
Pettinger made it 5-2 at 19:14 of the second by scoring a short-handed goal after blocking Bryan McCabe’s shot and getting loose on a breakaway.
“I thought we beat ourselves,” Toronto captain Mats Sundin said. “We have a lot to work to do, that’s for sure.”
Kilger cut it to 5-3 with a slapshot at 7:54 of third.
New Raptor general manager Bryan Colangelo received a cheer when he was shown on the videoboard. The team introduced him earlier in the day. … Ovechkin has five goals and six points in four games against the Maple Leafs, including two-goal performances in back-to-back games in November. … Sundin partied in Sweden with the rest of his Olympic teammates at a gold-medal celebration in Stockholm on Monday. Sundin returned in time for the game and assisted on Tucker’s goal. … Washington goalie Olaf Kolzig robbed Tucker of a goal with a glove save in the second.