The Washington Capitals are now 10 games into the season and they continue to fall behind the pack in the Eastern Conference standings.
They suffered another setback Tuesday night, losing 3-2 to the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs. The loss drops Washington’s record to 2-7-1. They are last in the East.
“I wouldn’t sacrifice the way the team is playing for a couple wins. I wouldn’t, not the wrong way,” Capitals head coach Adam Oates told Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times Monday.
“Because I think big picture you want to win tonight but you’ve got to try and think big picture and that’s what direction we’re going as a team and I think we’re going in the right direction.”
Alex Ovechkin, who has just two goals in those 10 games – although perhaps his recent increase in scoring chances is encouraging – had one assist in the loss.
Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk scored twice in a span of two minutes and 35 seconds to give Toronto a 2-0 lead in the first period.
“We’ve been talking about a couple of those things, getting in on the forecheck, making it hard on their defenseman and getting to the net,” van Riemsdyk told NHL.com. “I got some lucky bounces and I was able to put them in.”
Korbinian Holzer scored his first career NHL goal and the winner just past the midway point of the second period.
The Leafs are now 4-1 away from the Air Canada Centre.