Advantage: Matthews, Marner this time around vs. Ovechkin and Capitals


So much for that goal drought.

After breaking through with two goals and one assist on Wednesday, Auston Matthews contributed to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ impressive 4-2 win against the Washington Capitals.

Matthews, James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri all generated their ninth goals of the 2016-17 season in the victory, breaking a three-game losing streak for the Maple Leafs. (Mitch Marner was great in his own right, collecting two assists.)

Among his many strengths, Matthews resembles other stars in generating the kind of offense that eventually makes negative narratives dissolve.

It was a pretty great night all-around for the Maple Leafs’ young guns, although William Nylander missed the game with an upper-body injury.

Speaking of injuries, that factor made this loss even more bitter for the Capitals.

Matt Niskanen left the game and did not return because of a lower-body injury; the team announced that an update may come tomorrow. With T.J. Oshie currently considered week-to-week, one has to wonder if Washington’s notable recent sturdiness may begin to fade.

This marks just the second loss in six games for the Capitals, who just ended a five-game homestand.

It’s only one game, and even if you roll your eyes at Matthews vs. Ovechkin talk, it has to be a serious confidence-booster for the young Leafs.