- Associated Press - Sunday, March 16, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington linemates Joel Ward and Jason Chimera often play in the shadow of their higher-profile teammates.

On Sunday afternoon, they sparked the Capitals to a much-needed victory.

On a day when Alex Ovechkin was held to one shot on goal, the Capitals’ third line scored twice in a three-goal first period and the Capitals held on for 4-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Ward had a goal and an assist and Chimera also tallied for Washington, which scored on three of its first five shots for a 3-0 lead

“I’ve counted on Wardo and Chimmer all year long,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “They play together - penalty kill, power play. Big bodies that we count on for a lot of minutes.

“It’s good to see them get rewarded because you don’t get a lot of accolades based on that. You know, doing grunt work.”

Ward, in his seventh season, reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time and added his 20th assist, while Chimera scored his 13th goal and has points in seven of his past nine games.

“A lot of the time (Ward) and Chimmer and (center Eric Fehr) get overshadowed because of the names we have on this team,” Troy Brouwer said. “Night in night out, I think they are our most consistent line.”

Brouwer scored the other first-period goal for Washington and added an empty-netter with four seconds left to seal the win after Toronto had pulled within 3-2 in the second period.

The Capitals begin a three-game swing Tuesday in Anaheim, Calif.

“You’ve just got to win them all,” Oates said of upcoming games at Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose. “I know they’re better than us in the standings, but you’ve got to have the attitude you’re going to beat them.”

Recently acquired goalie Jaroslav Halak, making his fifth straight start, had 27 saves in the win.

Karl Alzner assisted on two Washington goals.

Dion Phaneuf had a goal and an assist for Toronto and Troy Bodie also scored. The Maple Leafs are 2-2 on their five-game road trip.

“Obviously we were pretty flat the first period,” Toronto coach Randy Carlyle said. “It looked like we were still in our afternoon nap. Playing an afternoon game just took us a good part of the game to get warmed up and get awake.”

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