|WSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||6|
|ANA||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
ANAHEIM – The quirks of the NHL schedule has allowed the Washington Capitals to visit Honda Center just twice in the past four seasons. But at this rate, that’s two times too many for the Anaheim Ducks.
|Ryan (No. 54 in the middle) had two goals in the game, but it wasn't nearly enough for the Ducks.
The Ducks turned the puck over 42 times, took 10 minor penalties and were burned repeatedly on the defensive end in falling 6-4 to the visiting Caps. It was the first game between the teams in Orange County since January of 2006, when Alex Ovechkin had a hat trick in a 3-2 overtime victory.
This time, the reigning league MVP had just one of the Capitals' six goals but added three assists, as Washington handed the Ducks their third loss in the last four games. Two goals by phenom Bobby Ryan – in just the second game of his recent call-up from Iowa – were good enough to tie a club rookie record, but weren’t enough to help the Ducks. (Ryan also added an assist on the second Ducks goal for a personal-high three points.)
"I think the confidence that I took from
Ryan got his second goal of the contest midway through the third period, just 27 seconds after Washington’s David Steckel virtually put the game away with a goal to give the Caps a 6-2 cushion. Ryan forced the puck through goalie Jose Theodore by stabbing at it twice as Theodore tried to sit down on it.
A minute and a half later, Teemu Selanne pulled the Ducks within two when he one-timed it home off a Ryan Getzlaf feed through the crease with the Ducks on the power play. But that was as close as Anaheim would get, as the Caps kept them off the scoresheet over the final eight minutes.
This one was in drastic contrast to the last Ducks’ home tilt, a defensive-minded 2-0 win over the Kings at Honda Center. The Caps scored early and often over the first two periods, pouring five pucks in the net while the Ducks only struck back with two of their own.
"We have to be ready to play for the full 60 minutes," Corey Perry said. "Coming out and giving up three goals right away, it doesn’t help our cause. The rest of the game we have to battle back. It’s an uphill climb when you get down 3-0 in the first five minutes."
The onslaught started just 2:19 into the game, as Washington converted on the power play with Bret Hedican in the box for hooking. Tomas Fleischmann tipped a Mike Green slap shot past Ducks starter Jonas Hiller.
Just 95 seconds later, with Washington again on the power play (Getzlaf interference), Green ripped another shot from the point that deflected off Anaheim forward Todd Marchant into the net.
Washington made it 3-0 at 7:13 into the period when Nicklas Backstrom gathered a Viktor Kozlov pass from the corner, made one move and backhanded it around Hiller.
That was the cue for Ducks coach Randy Carlyle to pull Hiller (who had 29 saves in a shutout three nights ago) for Jean-Sebastien Giguere, and the Ducks responded almost immediately. Just 24 seconds after the change, Corey Perry stole the puck in the Caps’ zone and put a shot on net that Theodore stopped but couldn’t gather the rebound. Ryan glided by and punched it in for his first of the season.
Ryan helped the Ducks make it a one-goal game with 3:06 left in the period, slipping a nice backhand pass to Getzlaf between the circles, and he slung a wrister past Theodore.
|Getzlaf connected with Selanne to pull Anaheim within two goals in the third, but the Ducks would get no closer.
But that was as close as the Ducks would get, as a rash of turnovers continued to haunt them, and the Caps scored twice to take a 5-2 lead through two periods. Their third power play goal came with Rob Niedermayer in the bin for slashing, as Ovechkin was left all alone before he took a Chris Clark pass and fired a wrister through.
Then with 2:12 left in the session, Matt Bradley had the puck bounce right to him after a shot ricocheted off the ankle of David Steckel, and Bradley quickly put it on net to catch Giguere out of position.
Those goals came on the heels of two Ducks opportunities early in the period that went awry. A Chris Pronger rocket on the power play in the first minute of the period rang off the post. Two minutes later, Corey Perry got a great feed from Ryan, but missed the net with the redirect try.
That was a reflection of the Ducks’ night, as they tried to get into a shootout with the current Southeast Division leaders and came up well short.
"They are a skilled team, but we knew that," said Perry. "We knew we couldn’t come in and take penalties. Their power play is too good. They shoot the puck and get to the net. If we play five-on-five, you never know what can happen."
Ducks coach Randy Carlyle voiced his frustration about the large amount of penalties, a problem for much of the season for Anaheim. "We’ve only talked about it about 250 million times," Carlyle said. "Obviously, it has to resort to some drastic measures. I think we’re in a situation where we’re going to continue to make changes and consider lineup changes if that is going to continue."
Washington played without standout scorer Alexander Semin, who missed his second consecutive game to an upper-body injury. Former Duck Sergei Fedorov missed his sixth straight with a sprained ankle,
The Ducks, who lost just nine games in regulation at home last year, have already dropped six (5-6-2) and fall to 10-8-2 overall. With the homestand now in their rear-view mirror, they’ll try to right the ship on the road, starting tomorrow night in St. Louis.
|PPG - Tomas Fleischmann (7) ASST: Mike Green (9), Alex Ovechkin (12)|
1 - 0 WSH
|PPG - Mike Green (7) ASST: Michael Nylander (8), Alex Ovechkin (13)|
2 - 0 WSH
|Nicklas Backstrom (3) ASST: Viktor Kozlov (5), Alex Ovechkin (14)|
3 - 0 WSH
|Bobby Ryan (1) ASST: Corey Perry (15)|
3 - 1 WSH
|Ryan Getzlaf (8) ASST: Bobby Ryan (1), Corey Perry (16)|
3 - 2 WSH
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (8) ASST: Chris Clark (2), Michael Nylander (9)|
4 - 2 WSH
|Matt Bradley (2) ASST: David Steckel (3), Boyd Gordon (5)|
5 - 2 WSH
|David Steckel (3) ASST: Milan Jurcina (1), Jeff Schultz (7)|
6 - 2 WSH
|Bobby Ryan (2) ASST: Todd Marchant (3), George Parros (2)|
6 - 3 WSH
|PPG - Teemu Selanne (10) ASST: Ryan Getzlaf (16), Corey Perry (17)|
6 - 4 WSH
|Bret Hedican Hooking against Donald Brashear|
|Ryan Getzlaf Interference against Brooks Laich|
|Corey Perry Roughing against Boyd Gordon|
|Michael Nylander Hooking against Scott Niedermayer|
|Chris Kunitz Cross checking against Milan Jurcina|
|Alex Ovechkin Charging against Kent Huskins|
|John Erskine Tripping against Ryan Getzlaf|
|Rob Niedermayer Slashing against Alex Ovechkin|
|Donald Brashear Fighting (maj) against George Parros|
|George Parros Fighting (maj) against Donald Brashear|
|David Steckel Hooking against Brett Festerling|
|Brett Festerling Slashing against Viktor Kozlov|
|John Erskine Hooking against Brendan Morrison|
|Scott Niedermayer Hooking against Nicklas Backstrom|
|Alex Ovechkin Interference against Brett Festerling|
|George Parros Too many men/ice - bench|
|Bobby Ryan Roughing against John Erskine|
|John Erskine Roughing against Bobby Ryan|
|Chris Pronger Hooking against David Steckel|
|David Steckel Slashing against Chris Pronger|
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