Winds calm for Stadium Series; Leafs vs. Capitals

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The offensive fireworks of the first two periods - including three goals in the first 6:19 - matched the pomp and circumstance of the NHL's first game at a USA service academy.

And as an outdoor game, there were distractions.

The expected recovery time for Matthews was two-to-four weeks, which means the earliest return would be the Leafs next home game against the Pittsburgh Penguins next Saturday, but based on Toronto being guaranteed third spot in the Atlantic Division and Boston having four games in hand, it is very possible that the Leafs medical staff will be extra careful with their leading scorer and hold him back until he is 100% healed. John Carlson and Jakub Vrana also scored for Washington.

Ovechkin became the sixth player in National Hockey League history with nine-plus 40-goal seasons, joining Wayne Gretzky (12), Marcel Dionne (10), Mario Lemieux (10), Mike Gartner (nine) and Mike Bossy (nine). Neither team skated on the surface until game time because of wind. There were curlers - the US men's Olympic gold medallists - sweeping the game puck to the centre-ice dot on a curling stone. Carlson got first-star honors with a goal and two assists.

The highlight of the night might have been the moments that came with almost no light at all, as the outdoor tilt was delayed midway through the third period when the stadium's power went out.

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All the line juggling in the world - and coach Mike Babcock went to his blender in the second period - couldn't kick-start the Leafs. Marner finished the game with them after Tomas Plekanec started as their centre.

Ovi didn't seem all too impressed himself, following a 5-2 Capitals win.

Andersen turned in his latest shaky performance as the playoffs approach, allowing five goals on 25 shots in a little more than 1 1/2 periods Saturday night, and the Leafs lost to Alex Ovechkin's Capitals 5-2.

The Leafs played their fourth game without all-star Auston Matthews, out with what's believed to be a shoulder injury. "I feel like the last couple games we've been playing a little bit better as a team and we're talking about it every day". Babcock said. "The big thing about this injury, when you come back from this injury, you have your legs". "When you come back from the previous injury, you don't have your legs because you didn't do anything". "And I didn't want to leave him in there and be a bunch more go in".


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