Toronto wins big with returning stars

TORONTO (AP) -- Mats Sundin and the Toronto Maple Leafs appear to be over their early-season slump.

Sundin scored his first goal of the season and 300th with Toronto as the Maple Leafs won their third straight with a 4-1 victory over the struggling Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

Criticized for not recording a point in his first five games, Sundin gave Toronto a 2-0 lead in the second. The center also scored 135 goals in four seasons with the Quebec Nordiques.

"It's always tough to go through a slump at the start of the year," said Sundin, whose team won just one of its first five games. "Every year you go through a period where you are not scoring, but it's a little more exposed when it happens at the start of the year."

Alexander Mogilny, Toronto's leading scorer last year, and Bryan McCabe, a top defenseman, contributed in their first game back after being sidelined with injuries.

Mogilny, out for five games with a strained groin, had two assists, and McCabe, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee, gave Toronto a 1-0 lead at 1:29 of the second. Mogilny assisted on the one-timer.

"Alex could miss four years and still come back and play," McCabe said. "He did a great job of hitting my stick with the puck."

Toronto goalie Ed Belfour made 39 saves en route to his 404th win to move past Grant Fuhr for sixth on the career wins list. He robbed Mike Grier of a breakaway goal in the second. Fans chanted 'Eddie! Eddie!' in the final minutes.

"It's a great honor. I'm really proud of it," he said. "We're starting to play a lot better. It's great to see."

Jaromir Jagr scored for the Capitals, who are 0-6-1 since opening the season with a 6-1 win over the New York Islanders.

Jagr, who complained about playing time and criticized coach Bruce Cassidy on Friday, has three goals.

The Capitals have lost five straight since starting their six-game road trip with a tie in Toronto on Oct. 13.

"I'm looking forward to being back home," Cassidy said.

Washington couldn't score in the first despite outshooting Toronto 13-3.

"It's definitely frustrating. We had a lot of good chances," Grier said. "Every night, it seems we are right there and then we make the one big turnover and it ends up in the back of our net."

Sundin took a pass off his skate before redirecting it past goalie Olaf Kolzig, giving Toronto a 2-0 lead on the power play at 5:43 of the second.

Jagr cut it to 2-1 with a power-play goal at 11:33 of the second, but Toronto's Joe Nieuwendyk intercepted a pass and scored an unassisted goal at 1:41 of the third.

Darcy Tucker scored into an empty net with 29 seconds remaining.

Game notes
Belfour needs three more wins to tie Glenn Hall for fifth on the all-time list. ... The Maple Leafs honored Doug Gilmour before the game. Gilmour retired this summer. ... Washington's Jason Doig and Toronto enforcer Tie Domi flipped off their helmets before fighting in the first. Domi received a two minute penalty for instigating and a 10 minute misconduct. ... Toronto's Tucker sent Sergei Gonchar to the ice with a check in the second. Gonchar retaliated by elbowing Tucker a few moments later. ... Toronto has scored 12 goals in its last three games after recording just seven in its previous four.