WASHINGTON — Washington coach Barry Trotz said Alex Ovechkin did not play one of his best games Saturday night, even though Ovechkin once again came through when the Capitals needed him.
Ovechkin had a goal in regulation and scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lift Washington to a 3-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"That's what (Ovechkin) has done here for a long time — big goals at big times," Trotz said. "When you needed him to step up, he does. That's what stars do, and he's a star. There's no question, he's a golden star."
The biggest play came in that sudden-death round during the shootout.
Ovechkin made a quick move to the right on Toronto goalie James Reimer and flipped a shot past him for the first score of the tiebreaker. Washington goalie Braden Holtby then secured the win when he stopped Nazem Kadri's attempt with his right skate.
Washington now is 10-3-0 and has tied its best start in franchise history. The Capitals posted the same record at the beginning of the 1991-92 season.
Nicklas Backstrom tied it with less than a second left in regulation for the Capitals, who have won two straight. Holtby had 23 saves through overtime.
Washington now has earned points in 20 consecutive games against Atlantic Division teams. The Capitals are 17-0-3 during that stretch.
Both teams found plenty of chances in the 3-on-3 overtime but couldn't score.
Backstrom scored with 0.8 seconds left, beating Reimer from just outside the crease after a cross-ice pass from Justin Williams.
"It bounced off of me, and I actually missed the shot but it went in anyway," Backstrom said. "Lucky, but it felt nice."
The Capitals needed to rally after van Riemsdyk's power-play goal at 9:27 of the third put the Leafs ahead 2-1.
Ovechkin earlier scored the tying goal at 4:51 of the second period and tied former teammate Sergei Fedorov for first place among Russian-born NHL players with 483 career goals.
The left wing then appeared to break Fedorov's record and tie the game at 2-2 with 2:39 left on a blind backhand shot. However, the officials overturned Ovechkin's goal after Toronto coach Mike Babcock challenged it based on goalie interference with Williams.
"You think like it's okay, you are No. 1 but then right now have to think about different things," Ovechkin said. "You have to think about the game."
Toronto took the early lead when Winnik beat Holtby with a wrist shot 2:36 into the game.
The Capitals had a good chance moments before but defenseman Morgan Rielly pushed the puck up to Winnik, who raced up the right wing and scored. Toronto fell to 2-8-4 but has been playing better.
"When you talk to your guys, I think that they feel pretty good that they are playing right," Babcock said. "And, when you play right over a period of time, you get rewarded in the end."
NOTES: Ovechkin played on the same line with Fedorov and credits his fellow Russian with helping him adjust to the NHL in the early days. ... Fedorov is going to be inducted into Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto on Monday. ... This was just the third time in 14 games this season the Maple Leafs scored the game's first goal. ... Winnik needed to be helped off just 2:36 after scoring and did not return. Babcock said it was a lower-body injury.