ARLINGTON, Va. — Two-time league MVP Alex Ovechkin said he was angry but understood why he was benched late in regulation Tuesday.
Ovechkin wasn't among those Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau sent onto the ice after pulling the goalie down one against the Ducks. TV cameras caught unpleasant words from Ovechkin directed at the coach. But the Capitals tied it at 4, then won in overtime, Ovechkin assisting on the winner.
"Of course I want to be in that situation on the ice, and you know it doesn't matter who I said it to and what I said," Ovechkin, the team captain, said Wednesday. "It looked funny on TV. It's just a little bit frustrating because I'm a leader on the team and I want to have that kind of responsibility."
Boudreau said he was "playing a hunch" by going with the third line of Brooks Laich, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward supplemented by Nicklas Backstrom (who scored the tying and winning goals). The line had combined for seven points on the night.
Boudreau hasn't been shy about reducing ice time for top players this season. The message: play well or sit.
Ovechkin said Laich's line deserved to be on the ice. Also, as the team captain, it's important that he buy into the accountability theme.
"Yeah, it's one team," said Ovechkin, who has five goals and five assists in 10 games. "It doesn't matter how good you are or who you are. If we want to win, we have to be on the same page."
Game highlights: Joffrey Lupul scored three goals in a span of 7:22 of the second period, his first hat trick since Dec. 12, 2007, as the visiting Leafs beat the Devils 5-3. … The Flyers scored twice in 13 seconds in the first and beat the Sabres 3-2. Buffalo is 1-4 at home.
Around the league: Rangers wing Sean Avery, demoted to the minors before the season, rejoined the team for practice. But he won't play tonight because coach John Tortorella wants to use the same lineup that beat the Sharks on Monday. … The Red Wings and Bruins will play in the inaugural "Thanksgiving Showdown," which will be played on the day after the holiday and air on NBC. This season's game will begin at 1 p.m.
First Period—1, Toronto, Crabb 1 (Lombardi, Liles), 8:37. 2, New Jersey, Zubrus 3 (Henrique), 12:16 (pp). 3, Toronto, Grabovski 5 (Gardiner, Gustavsson), 15:50. Penalties—Brown, Tor, major (fighting), 5:08; Mills, NJ, major (fighting), 5:08; Dupuis, Tor (holding stick), 10:21; Sykora, NJ (hooking), 19:42.
Second Period—4, New Jersey, Elias 5 (Larsson, Kovalchuk), 3:29 (pp). 5, Toronto, Lupul 6 (Komisarek, Connolly), 6:31. 6, New Jersey, Clarkson 3 (Palmieri, Mills), 8:15. 7, Toronto, Lupul 7 (Kessel, Connolly), 9:45. 8, Toronto, Lupul 8 (Grabovski, Kessel), 13:13. Penalties—Gustavsson, Tor, served by Crabb (interference), 2:09; Schenn, Tor, major (fighting), 17:41; Clarkson, NJ, major (fighting), 17:41.
Third Period—None. Penalties—Tedenby, NJ (goaltender interference), 8:03. Shots on Goal—Toronto 7-9-7—23. New Jersey 6-11-5—22. Power-play opportunities—Toronto 0 of 2; New Jersey 2 of 2. Goalies—Toronto, Gustavsson 4-3-0 (22 shots-19 saves). New Jersey, Brodeur 0-2-0 (23-18). A—13,033 (17,625).
First Period—1, Philadelphia, Couturier 3 (Lilja, Voracek), 1:43. 2, Philadelphia, van Riemsdyk 5 (Rinaldo), 1:56. 3, Philadelphia, Hartnell 5 (Giroux, Jagr), 6:23. Penalties—Holmstrom, Phi (holding), 13:05.
Second Period—4, Buffalo, Sekera 1 (Leopold, Adam), 7:49. Penalties—Jagr, Phi (holding), 1:40; Timonen, Phi (tripping), 8:27; Voracek, Phi (holding), 15:24; Coburn, Phi, major (fighting), 20:00; Rinaldo, Phi, minor-misconduct (slashing), 20:00; Roy, Buf (slashing), 20:00; Weber, Buf, minor-major (roughing, fighting), 20:00.
Third Period—5, Buffalo, Adam 4 (Vanek, Pominville), 8:29. Penalties—Meszaros, Phi (roughing), 3:26; Giroux, Phi (roughing), 3:26; Gaustad, Buf (roughing, cross-checking), 3:26; Kaleta, Buf (roughing), 3:26; Regehr, Buf (elbowing), 13:40; Nodl, Phi (elbowing), 19:44. Shots on Goal—Philadelphia 14-5-7—26. Buffalo 8-15-8—31. Power-play opportunities—Philadelphia 0 of 3; Buffalo 0 of 5. Goalies—Philadelphia, Bryzgalov 5-4-1 (31 shots-29 saves). Buffalo, Miller 4-5-0 (11-8), Enroth (13:37 first, 15-15). A—18,299 (18,690).
First Period—1, Phoenix, Pyatt 2 (Morris, Gordon), 7:53. Penalties—Gordon, Pho (delay of game), 8:42.
Second Period—2, Phoenix, Vrbata 4 (Hanzal, Whitney), 17:57. 3, Colorado, R.O'Reilly 2 (Winnik, O'Byrne), 18:23. Penalties—Langkow, Pho (elbowing), 2:48; Quincey, Col (slashing), 8:18; Doan, Pho (tripping), 9:17.
Third Period—4, Phoenix, Korpikoski 3 (Schlemko, Klesla), :24. 5, Phoenix, Vrbata 5 (Whitney, Ekman-Larsson), 18:27 (en). Penalties—Vrbata, Pho (tripping), 13:32. Shots on Goal—Phoenix 9-10-9—28. Colorado 11-17-12—40. Power-play opportunities—Phoenix 0 of 1; Colorado 0 of 4. Goalies—Phoenix, Smith 5-2-2 (40 shots-39 saves). Colorado, Varlamov 5-4-0 (27-24). A—12,141 (18,007).