If the Maple Leafs don’t find a way to change history Sunday in Washington, there will be no late afternoon delight for the visitors at the Verizon Center.
In other words, they must find a way to muzzle Leaf Killers Alex Ovechkin and Dennis Wideman.
Trailing the eighth place Caps by six points in the battle for playoff positions in the eastern conference, the Leafs, whose post-season hopes are precariously dangling by a thread, pretty much need to post a victory here in the U.S. capital to keep their post-season hopes alive.
But it won’t be easy.
In head-to-head matchups between the two teams, the Caps are 6-1-1 in their past eight meetings versus Toronto, including an impressive 4-0-1 record on home ice in Washington.
Of note: if the Leafs are to be successful, they must pay special attention to Wideman and Ovechkin.
In the three games against the Leafs this season, Wideman has been a key reason why the Caps have won two of those meetings. Wideman has two goals and two assists versus Toronto in 2011-12 and will be even more relied upon on Sunday in the absence of teammate Mike Green, who is serving the second game of a three-game suspension.
Ovechkin, meanwhile, has feasted on the Leafs in his career, racking up 42 points (23 goals, 19 assists) in 26 career games against Toronto.
In 14 of those 26 games, Ovechkin has recorded two or more points, including a hat trick on Jan. 22 of last season. He has recorded at least one point in all but four of his career games against the Leafs.
Sure, Ovechkin is on pace to register about 67 points this season, the worst total of his career. But whenever he plays the Leafs, a breakout game always is a possibility.
Go to torontosun.com at 4:30 p.m. eastern to take part in a live chat with Sun hockey writer Terry Koshan. Puck drop at the Verizon Center will take place shortly after 5 p.m.