The Caps were led by Dennis Wideman, who scored three of Washington's four goals and had the primary assist on the other. All of Wideman's goals came on the power play, marking his first multi-power play goal game of his career. Wideman beat Toronto netminder James Reimer with a quick wrister off a Mike Knuble feed for his first. His second shot was a powerful drive from the point, rifling past Reimer for the 2-0 lead. The final goal came with a littler over a minute to play in the game, and was a another rocket from the point that beat Reimer with the help from a Brooks Laich screen in front.
It was the first hat trick by a Washington defenseman in 11 years, with Sergei Gonchar being the last Caps defender to score three in a game. He added an assist on Nicklas Backstrom's power play goal in the second period, making it a four point night for Wideman and a four goal night for the Caps' power play.
Wideman's final goal gave Washington their second two goal lead of the night. The Maple Leafs had cut the Capitals lead to one goal when Cody Franson launched a quick shot from the blue line towards traffic in front of Tomas Vokoun. The puck went right through the bottleneck in front to find the back of the net for Toronto's second goal of the evening. Nikolai Kulemin set up in front of the net and provided the screen, as Franson just barely kept the puck in the zone and flipped it towards the crease. The Leafs kept the puck in the Washington zone for much of the third period, and it seemed to be only a matter of time before they put their second on the board.
But Wideman would get it right back, icing the game for the Caps fifth win in their last seven matchups with Toronto. It was a solid response for Washington, who was embarrassed by the Maple Leafs in a 7-1 loss in Toronto last month. They now have three days off before the Atlantic Division leading Philadelphia Flyers visit Verizon Center on Tuesday.
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