Caps give up 6 goals to Maple Leafs, losing 7th straight

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) chases down Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) chases down Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) gets checked by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) gets checked by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) gets stopped by Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) gets stopped by Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov (92) checks Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov (92) checks Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) breaks past Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) breaks past Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates after scoring a goal during a power play against the Washington Capitals in second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates after scoring a goal during a power play against the Washington Capitals in second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (22) celebrates his goal with teammate Nazem Kadri (43) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (22) celebrates his goal with teammate Nazem Kadri (43) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) stops Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) stops Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) (AP/Nathan Denette)
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Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) chases down Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly (44) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie (77) gets checked by Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) gets stopped by Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen (31) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Igor Ozhiganov (92) checks Washington Capitals left wing Jakub Vrana (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) breaks past Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Ron Hainsey (2) during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) celebrates after scoring a goal during a power play against the Washington Capitals in second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Nikita Zaitsev (22) celebrates his goal with teammate Nazem Kadri (43) during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)
Washington Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby (70) stops Toronto Maple Leafs center John Tavares (91) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, in Toronto. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP)

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

The Capitals visited Toronto on Wednesday night for their last game before the All-Star break, but failed to hold on to an early lead, falling 6-3 to the Maple Leafs.

Washington enters the long weekend losers of seven straight, the franchise’s longest drought since 2014.

However, with a revitalized pace and a fighting attitude, the Caps looked more like themselves throughout the first forty minutes of the game.

After an accidental hit from T.J. Oshie early in the game, captain Alex Ovechkin left the bench to be seen by a concussion spotter.

During a first period power play, Evgeny Kuznetsov directed a sleek cross-net pass to Nicklas Backstrom to put the Caps on the board first. The lead was shortlived, though, as Toronto’s Nazem Kadri tied it up 1-1 less than a minute later.

Ovechkin returned to the ice late in the first period, and netted a goal in the second. The tally put him in the record books yet again, as he tied Sergei Federov for most points by a Russian-born player in the history of the NHL.

The Maple Leafs, who’ve worried recently about point production, showed up in the second and third periods with four more goals from Zaitsev, Matthews, and Kadri, who completed his hat trick in the middle of the third period.

A last minute empty net goal by Mitch Marner sealed the deal, and the Caps were down and out for the evening.

One thing to take away: Perhaps the most worrying stat of the Caps’ recent losing streak is that they’ve allowed an opposing player complete a hat trick in four of their last five games. Though their offense has looked better in the last two games, defense needs to be addressed immediately.

The highlight you should see: Despite the Caps’ defensive woes, rookie Jonas Siegenthaler exhibited great responsiveness in his plays, thinking on his feet in fast-paced, close-range situations.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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