TORONTO (AP) Tyler Bertuzzi scored twice to give him six goals in seven games, Joseph Woll made 24 saves in a bounce-back performance and the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Washington Capitals 5-1 on Thursday night.

Mark Giordano scored following a long injury absence, and Conner Dewar and Bobby McMann added goals to help Toronto improve to 41-22-9.

Nic Dowd replied for Washington, and Charlie Lindgren stopped 43 shots. The Capitals dropped to 36-27-9 as they fight for a playoff spot.

“There were plays to be made,” Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. “We just didn’t make them.”

Woll was solid after giving up a goal on the first shot in his last two starts, including Tuesday night in a 6-3 loss to New Jersey that left coach Sheldon Keefe fuming at the entire roster’s “immature” performance.

“That was big for us,” Bertuzzi said about the response. “We didn’t let off the gas.”

Auston Matthews, the NHL goals leader with 59 goals, played for Toronto after missing the morning skate with an illness. The Maple Leafs were, however, minus plenty of talent. Top-line winger Mitch Marner sat out a ninth straight game because if a high ankle sprain, while defensemen Morgan Rielly (upper body), Timothy Liljegren (upper body) and Joel Edmundson (undisclosed) also were sidelined.

Playing for the first time since sustaining a concussion Feb. 29, Giordano fired home his second goal of the season - and first in 31 games - midway through the first period. The oldest player in the league at age 40, he pointed to the sky in celebration - remember his late father, Paul.

“It’s been tough,” said Giordano , whose father died Feb. 16 at age 75. “There’s been moments where it’s been real tough on the family side of things, but been having a lot of fun being at the rink around the guys.”

Bertuzzi made it 2-0 18 seconds into the second when he banked in a shot off Lindgren. Dowd countered by tipping home his 10th at 5:27.

Dewar restored Toronto’s two-goal advantage when he backhanded his 11th - and first with the Maple Leafs since being acquired from Minnesota at the NHL trade deadline - with 8:22 to go before Lindgren robbed Matthews of his 60th goal late in the period.

McMann made it 4-1 at 1:06 of the third, and Bertuzzi added his 18th off a turnover with 9:49 left.


Capitals: Host Boston on Saturday night.

Maple Leafs: At Buffalo on Saturday night.



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