The Anaheim Ducks came into Monday night’s contest against the Washington Capitals white-hot, winning a team-best 11 in a row. The Caps, who are in the midst of a four-game road trip including three out west, had other plans and halted the streak with a 2-1 victory in a shootout.
The Ducks (37-19-9) streak ended in a low-scoring affair. The win improves the Caps to 49-13-4 on the season.
Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots for Washington, earning him his league-leading 41st win of the season
Washington is never phased when falling behind in early in games, often times this season giving up the first goal of the game. That was yet again the case Monday night as the Ducks’ Ryan Getslaf scored via a slap shot just one minute into the game.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period. Andre Burakovsky knotted the game at 1-1 just 41 seconds into the third period. That was his 14th goal of the season. Washington had a great chance with over a minute left in regulation when Mike Richards took a bad Anaheim pass in a clearing attempt and was left all alone, but Ducks’ goalie John Gibson made the save.
The Capitals had a golden opportunity in overtime as the Ducks were called for too many men on the ice, but that lasted all of 24 seconds as T.J. Oshie was called for closing his hand on the puck just seconds into the one-man advantage. The three-on-three hockey did not produce a goal, resulting in a shootout.
Anaheim opted to shoot first and Holtby stopped David Perron’s shot glove side. Oshie was able to score on the Caps’ first shootout attempt. Holtby again made the shootout save, stopping a shot from Jakob Silfverberg again flashing his extremely quick glove. Evgeny Kuznetsov missed his shot that would have won the game, before Corey Perry beat Holtby to tie the shootout at 1-1. Nicklas Backstrom didn’t want to be in Anaheim any longer and he beat Gibson for the decisive game-winner.
So far, so good for the Caps during this four-game road trip after defeating the Boston Bruins on Sunday and the Ducks Monday. Washington will travel to Los Angeles for a battle with the Kings (39-22-4) on Wednesday and then travel to San Jose to try and tame the Sharks (36-23-6) on Saturday.
This road trip is a good measuring stick for the Caps in terms of how they match up with some of the league’s best teams. All four teams the Caps have and will face on this road trip are currently all playoff teams with Anaheim, Los Angeles and San Jose being 4th, 5th and 6th in the Western Conference respectively and the Bruins being 4th in the Eastern Conference.