TORONTO | Jonas Gustavsson’s career numbers against the Washington Capitals coming into Saturday night were ugly: a 1-1-1 record, 3.93 goals against average and .871 save percentage.
But then he turned in undoubtedly his best game of the season, making 40 saves on 41 shots to help the Toronto Maple Leafs to a decisive 7-1 victory.
Coach Ron Wilson, a man very familiar to Caps fans from his time in Washington, chose Gustavsson over rookie Ben Scrivens for this matchup out of familiarity.
“Jonas has beaten Washington in the past. He’s 1-1-1 against them,” Wilson said after Saturday’s morning skate. “So he’s familiar with them – Scrivs isn’t – so it’s a fairly easy decision to make.”
Gustavsson made Wilson look like a genius. The 27-year-old allowed a goal on the first shot he faced but was unbeatable the rest of the way. He didn’t get a lot of action in the first but stood his ground and prevented the lifeless Caps from doing much while the result was in doubt.
By the time the game was out of hand, Gustavsson made 18 saves in the third period to ensure the Caps could take few positives from this one. The Caps lacked quantity and quality of shots for much of the night.
“He’s played good,” Alex Ovechkin said. “Right now every goalie against us play great. We have opportunities to score goals; we didn’t score.”