What was at one time a 3-0 lead turned into a crushing 5-4 overtime defeat for the Ducks in Washington.
Anaheim (5-5-2) allowed the game-tying goal to Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom with 42 seconds left in regulation. In the extra session, it was Backstrom again with the game-winning tally at the 2:18 mark.
Teemu Selanne enjoyed another fine night in the loss, totaling a season-high four points (two goals, two assists). According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Selanne is the is fourth player in the last 30 years to have at least a four-point game at age 41 or older.
Now in his 19th NHL season, the 41-year-old Selanne leads the Ducks with 14 points (five goals, nine assists) thus far in 2011-12. He has three goals and eight assists in his last six games.
Anaheim was averaging two goals per game and had been held to one goal or fewer in five of its first 11 contests. The Ducks took only 15 shots, but more than a quarter of them made it past Vokoun.
The Ducks went up 1-0 at 9:05 of the first period when Selanne skated behind the goal and sent a centering pass to Saku Koivu, who eluded defenseman Roman Hamrlik and beat Vokoun from the left side.
Selanne and Koivu teamed again 4 1/2 minutes later to make it 2-0. Koivu corralled Lydman's shot off the back boards and sent it across the crease to Selanne, who scored from the left side of the net.
Selanne made it 3-0 with a slap shot at 8:59 of the second period, but the Capitals got back into it when Ward and Wideman scored just over three minutes apart. Ward drilled a wrist shot through the Hiller's pads, and Wideman scored after Hiller botched an attempt to clear a puck that was sent the length of the ice by Vokoun.
Corey Perry got a power-play goal for Anaheim at 9:13 of the third period for a 4-2 lead.
It was 4-3 when Washington pulled goaltender Tomas Vokoun in the final minute, and Backstrom hammered home the rebound of a shot by Jason Chimera to force the extra session.
In overtime, Backstrom was standing to the right of the net when Alex Ovechkin sent the puck toward goalie Jonas Hiller. Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman let the puck slip past his stick, and Backstrom scored easily to end it.
Washington improved to 6-0 at home and ended a two-game skid.
Joel Ward, Dennis Wideman and Troy Brouwer scored for the Capitals, who remained unbeaten in the United States following losses at Edmonton and Vancouver.
NOTES: It was the only game of the season between the teams. ... Capitals D Mike Green missed a third straight game because of a twisted right ankle, but D John Erskine made his season debut after being sidelined following shoulder surgery. ... The Capitals recalled C Cody Eakin from Hershey of the AHL and assigned D Sean Collins to the same club. ... Anaheim still has two games left in a 13-day, seven-game road trip that ends Saturday in Detroit.
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