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WASHINGTON — Eric Gustafson Scored his first NHL hat trick in the Washington Capitals’ 5-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday at Capital One Arena.

The hat trick came in Gustafsson’s 341st NHL game. It was the defender’s first three goals of the season since he signed a one-year deal on July 13.

“Scoring the first goal as a [Capital] too and get a “hat”. [top of] it’s pretty incredible,” Gustafsson said. “It was a great feeling.

Video. [email protected] Gustafsson scores 3 goals against the Maple Leafs

Alex Ovechkin (800 career goals) missed his second attempt to tie Gordie Howe (801) for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list. Wayne Gretzky leads with 894.

Sonny Milano had three assists for Washington (16-13-4), which has won six of its last seven games. Charlie Lindgren made 34 saves.

“Some of the (few) things we’re talking about are defensive and sharp decisions and attacking the net,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “Every guy has to do their job and they have to play well and we got that most nights. The boys played well. They did the right things.”

Auston Matthews had a goal and an assist for Toronto (19-7-6), which has lost its last two games after a 15-game hitting streak (12-0-3). Ilya SamsonovHe, who played the previous three seasons with Washington, allowed 5 goals on 28 shots in his first game back here. Samsonov was coming off a streak and saw his streak end at 163:46.

“I think I played poorly in this game,” Samsonov said. “A few bad bounces, yeah. We have to work… For my game, I have to play better.”

Gustafsson gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 11:12 of the first period, beating Milano with a shot past the right post.

William Nylander It was 1-1 at 13:12 when he scored on a one-timer off a pass from Matthews.

Trevor van Riemsdyk Gave Washington a 2-1 lead at 14:48 when his shot from the left wing went wide. Mark Giordanoand avoided Samsonov.

Van Riemsdyk scored three goals in the last four games. he entered the season 456 with 17.

“I was just trying to get it to the far platform. I didn’t really have much,” he said. “Obviously, it was really fortunate to kind of hit his stick and jump in the air and go through ‘Sammy’ there. So good luck jumping, but we’ll take it.”

Video. [email protected] Matthews cuts the deficit with a 2nd goal

Gustafsson made it 3-1 off the cross Yevgeny Kuznetsov rushing at 2:51 of the second period.

Matthews made it 3-2 at 6:25, sliding into the lane and beating Lindgren with a high post shot.

Garnet Hathaway Gave the Capitals a 4-2 lead when he scored from the right circle 10 seconds into the third period.

“I thought we had a great second period and we didn’t get rewarded for it and we didn’t finish our chances and they scored with 10 seconds left in the third,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “It’s a tough climb from there.”

Video. [email protected] Hathaway extends the lead to 4-2 in the 3rd

Gustafsson completed the hat trick at 3:47 with a wrist shot from the left circle off a pass from Kuznetsov for a 5-2 final.

Lindgren made nine saves in the third. He is 6-1-0 with a 1.87 goals-against average and .938 save percentage in his last seven starts.

“We responded to the call this evening. That’s what this team seems to have been doing all year, especially the last few days,” Lindgren said. “We’re just answering the call, all four lines are ours [defensemen] they play great. It’s a really good win against a really good hockey team.”

NOTES: Before Washington TJ Oshie left the game in the second due to an upper-body injury. He will be reevaluated on Sunday. … Gustafsson is the third defenseman in Capitals history to record a regular season hat trick, joining Kevin Hatcher (Jan. 13, 1993) and Sergey Gonchar (Jan. 4, 2000). … Washington forward Nick Dowd was a late scratch with a lower body injury. … Capitals are 16-1-1 when they score three or more goals this season. … Toronto forward Michael Bunting ended his 10-game point streak (12 points, three goals, nine assists).



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