The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to lean on Curtis Joseph between the pipes for the next three games after Martin Gerber was tossed for pushing referee Mike Leggo and shooting a puck in his direction following Washington's controversial tying goal Tuesday night.
For his act, Gerber faces a minimum three-game suspension for category three abuse of the officials - a violation of rule 41.
Capitals forward Brooks Laich stuffed the puck under Gerber with 56 seconds to play in regulation, prompting the angry Toronto goalie to protest the goal by skating towards Leggo, at which point he bumped the referee and shot the puck in his direction.
''I'm sorry for me, for losing my cool there,'' said Gerber. ''I got shoved in the net. That's why (the puck) went in. I was upset, shot the puck against the boards and after that he tossed me out for I don't know what.
''I shouldn't have done it. That's obvious. But there's not much you can do now.''
Joseph was brought in cold off the Leafs' bench late in the game and shut down the Capitals to help his team to a 3-2 shootout victory.
With files from THE CANADIAN PRESS.