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4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 13, 2018
Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia  Attendance: 18,506

Hot Maple Leafs take on defending champs

Toronto Maple Leafs at Washington Capitals

  1. The Maple Leafs are 4-1-0 after five games for the second straight season, and can match their best six-game start since 1994-95. Beginning with that season, only twice have the Leafs earned at least 10 points in their first six games; this happened in 2013-14 and last year (5-1-0 on both occasions).
  2. Washington has allowed six or more goals in two of its first four games in 2018-19, something the team did only seven times in the entire 2017-18. Of the Caps' nine games yielding at least six goals since '17-18, four have come in the month of October.
  3. Since the start of the 2017 calendar year, Washington is 8-3-0 versus Toronto, including the Capitals' six-game first-round playoff series win in 2017. All six games in that playoff series were one-goal affairs, with five decided in OT (Caps won three of the five). Each of the last four regular-season meetings has been decided by two or more goals.
  4. Auston Matthews, who will skate in his 150th career game on Saturday, has 83 career goals, including nine this season. Among players whose careers started in the last 25 years (1993-94 or later), only Washington's Alex Ovechkin (91) has had more goals through 150 games.
  5. In regular-season play since 2016-17, Evgeny Kuznetsov has been all-or-nothing against the Leafs. He has seven point in six meetings, with all seven coming in two games -- a four-point effort in January 2017 and a three-point game last March.
  6. The Capitals have 17 players with at least one point in 2018-19, tied for the most in the league with Vancouver. The Leafs have 14 players with at least one assist, tied for second most in the league.

WASHINGTON -- Goaltender Braden Holtby and the Washington Capitals will try to cool off Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at Capital One Arena.

Mathews has nine goals and three assists in five games and the Maple Leafs are off to a 4-1 start.

In a 5-3 win at Detroit Thursday night, Matthews scored twice on the power play for the Maple Leafs, who were 2-for-4 with the man-advantage. They're 7-for-14 with the extra man so far this season.

"We have a lot of guys who can finish on this team, especially when we are on the power play," Toronto center John Tavares told NHL.com. "When I get the puck, I'm just trying to get it to an open player. If that's (Matthews), it is an automatic goal right now."

Tavares had a career-high four assists against Detroit -- giving him 10 points -- and Mitchell Marner and Morgan Rielly each had a goal and an assist. Frederik Andersen made 26 saves.

Matthews has scored in five straight games and is one game shy of tying Sweeney Schriner's 74-year-old team record for most consecutive games at the start of a season with at least one goal. He's recorded multiple points in all five games.

Defenseman Rielly has 12 points (three goals, nine assists) in his first five games, the best five-game start by an NHL defenseman in modern history. The previous high was 11 points by Bobby Orr of the Boston Bruins in 1973-74.

"I think it's great for all the guys that are doing some scoring right now," Leafs coach Mike Babcock told the Toronto Sun. "In the end, though, it's about winning every night and it doesn't really matter on our team who does the scoring as long as we score enough to find a way to win. I think the guys have been real good about that."

The last player to record nine goals in the first five games of the season will also be on the ice Saturday night as Washington winger Alex Ovechkin accomplished the feat last season.

Ovechkin and company didn't manage any goals when they suffered their first regulation defeat of the season -- 6-0 to the New Jersey Devils Thursday night.

Playing the second of back-to-backs, the Stanley Cup champs fell behind early and the Devils poured it on late.

"I think it's going to be like that all season," Washington's Lars Eller told NBCSportsWashington.com of the Devils' all-out effort. "Teams are going to want to beat the champs and show their best. They got a lot of energy going tonight and we didn't have as much of it."

The Capitals (2-1-1) entered the game having scored a franchise-best 18 goals, the most in their history through the first three games of the season.

Back-up goalie Pheonix Copley made 30 saves for the Capitals against New Jersey.

"First period especially, he was really good," Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen told NBCSportsWashington.com. "He didn't get a very good effort in front of him. He played hard and made some big saves in the first when it was still close. The rest of us got to do better."

Washington opens a three-game homestand against the Maple Leafs, who are finishing a four-game road swing.

Holtby is 8-3-1 with a 2.05 goals against average and .934 save percentage versus the Maple Leafs, while Andersen is 3-1-1 with a 2.88 GAA and .909 save percentage against Washington.

Updated October 12, 2018

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