WASHINGTON (AP) — Troy Brouwer scored two goals and the Washington Capitals scored three times in the first period before holding on for a 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday.
Joel Ward had a goal and an assist, and Jason Chimera also tallied for Washington, which scored on three of its first five shots against James Reimer for a 3-0 lead.
The Maple Leafs pulled within 3-2 in the second period and it stayed that way until Brouwer’s empty-netter with four seconds left.
Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist for Toronto and Troy Bodie also scored. The Capitals won their second straight. They begin a three-game West Coast swing Tuesday in Anaheim, Calif.
The Maple Leafs, third in the conference, are 2-2 on their five-game road trip.
Recently acquired Jaroslav Halak, making his fifth straight start in goal, had 27 saves in the win.
Reimer, starting in place of regular goalie Jonathan Bernier, who suffered a lower body injury in Thursday’s win at Los Angeles, finished with 29 saves.
Washington was 2 for 4 on the power play. Toronto was 0 for 3. The Capitals have 12 power-play goals in their past 10 games.
Karl Alzner assisted on two Washington goals.
Phaneuf pulled Toronto within 3-2 at 8:05 of the second period when he floated a shot from the point through a screen and past Halak for his eighth goal.
Toronto then came up empty on three consecutive power-play chances over a seven-minute stretch as Halak made several very good saves.
Two of Washington’s three first-period goals were the result of crisp passing sequences.
With Toronto’s Jay McClement off for tripping, Marcus Johansson took a pass behind the goal line from Nicklas Backstrom and fed Brouwer in the slot. Brouwer one-timed low shot past Reimer for his 19th goal just 3:34 into the first period.
Ward’s effort in front made it 2-0 just over three minutes later. Alzner’s shot was stopped in front, but Ward outdueled Reimer for the puck and his backhand deflected off Chimera, who was credited with the goal.
The Capitals soon got a power play, and this time it was Evgeny Kuznetsov who made nice pass in front, to Dustin Penner. Penner, stationed to the left of Reimer, shoveled a backhand pass across to Ward, who buried it in the open net for his 20th of the season.
Toronto didn’t get its second shot on goal until the 17:15 mark of the first period, but it went in as Bodie beat Halak over his right shoulder.
NOTES: The Capitals are 21-0-3 this season when leading after the second period. … Capitals C Brooks Laich (lower body injury) was a scratch and has missed two of Washington’s past three games. … Toronto concludes its road trip Tuesday in Detroit.
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