Capitals take series over Maple Leafs

04 March 2018 13:41:59 EST

The Washington Capitals scored three times in the opening period on Saturday as they defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-2 in Annapolis.

Alex Ovechkin scored his 40th of the year and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom were also on target as the Capitals jumped out to a 3-1 advantage.

John Carlson and Jakub Vrana completed the scoring for Washington in the second period as the Capitals also moved two points clear of the Philadelphia Flyers in the Metropolitan Division standings.

Winners of two in a row, but only 5-4-1 over their last 10 games to allow both the Flyers and the Pittsburgh Penguins to narrow the gap in the standings, Washington now heads west for a road swing through California.

The Capitals, 20/23 to win the Metropolitan Division, will take on the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, make the short journey up the I-5 freeway from Orange County to downtown Los Angeles to face the Kings on Thursday and close out the trip against the Sharks in San Jose on Saturday before heading home to welcome in the Winnipeg Jets to the Capital One Arena.

Three points behind the Capitals and in third place in the Division the Penguins were pushed to overtime before getting the better of the New York Islanders on Saturday.

Sidney Crosby was on target for the hosts at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh in the extra frame to score his 22nd of the year and give the Penguins the 3-2 win.

The Capitals are 7/1 to win the Eastern Conference with the Maple Leafs 5/1 and the Boston Bruins priced at 7/2.

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