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Capitals' Ovechkin rips Leafs with five points in 6-1 rout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Washington sniper Alex Ovechkin helped himself to five points against Toronto on Friday, opening the scoring after 49 seconds and grabbing a career-high four assists in the Capitals' 6-1 win over the Maple Leafs.

Ovechkin's goal was his 29th of the season but it was his overall team-first mentality that pleased coach Bruce Boudreau.

"There is no doubt that he loves to play and he's all about winning," Boudreau said. "He thinks of his team mates all the time and we saw that tonight.

"Whether he gets an assist or whether he gets nothing, when the team does well, he does well."

Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala, who blanked Philadelphia 4-0 Thursday, surrendered six goals on 24 shots as the Caps moved to within a point of New Jersey for first in the Eastern Conference.

Ovechkin, whose five points were a season high, was quick to credit his team mates.

"We got a lot of chances," Ovechkin said. "I was (just) there."

Capitals netminder Jose Theodore made 28 saves against the Leafs, who despite sitting near the bottom of the NHL standings lead the league in shots on goal this season.

"Getting lots of shots doesn't help you if you don't win games," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said.

"It doesn't matter how many shots a good team gets, they still manage to find ways to win and we don't do that often enough.

"It just shows their (the Capitals) skill level. They scored on just about every chance they had."

Eric Fehr made it 2-0 to Washington with a little over two minutes remaining in the first period before Mike Knuble scored twice early in the second to extend their lead to 4-0.

Tomas Kaberle pulled one back for the Leafs with a power-play goal before the end of the second but Tomas Fleischmann and Tom Poti completed the rout in the third.

The Leafs have lost seven of their last 10 games and are nine points out of a playoff place.

(Writing by Roger Lajoie in Toronto; Editing by Peter Rutherford)