Head coach Carlyle was relieved of his duties by the Leafs on Tuesday, with Peter Horachek put in interim charge, but the change in staff did not prompt a change in fortune as the team lost their third straight game.
Marcus Johansson opened the scoring for the Caps, but Daniel Winnik levelled things before Eric Fehr and Brooks Laich made it 3-1.
Trevor Smith reduced the gap, but Johansson and Fehr made it two goals each before an Alex Ovechkin empty-netter compounded Toronto’s misery.
Patrice Bergeron grabbed the vital goal in overtime as the Boston Bruins beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2.
Beau Bennett and Zdeno Chara exchanged first-period markers before Bergeron grabbed his first and Evgeni Malkin took the game to the extra period.
The Detroit Red wings were also 3-2 winners as they beat the Calgary Flames in regulation.
Mason Raymond had the Flames ahead, but three unanswered goals from Riley Sheahan, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader had Detroit in control before Mikael Backlund set up a tense third period.
In the night’s other game, the New York Rangers made it 11 wins from 12 with a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks.
Derick Brassard and Rick Nash had the Blueshirts two up before Francois Beauchemin grabbed one back, but late goals from Mats Zuccarello and Dominic Moore sealed the win.