Caps Win a Thriller Over Ducks

Tonight was the first of three California games this week. This was also Braden Holtby’s first career game against the Anaheim Ducks. The Capitals are 7-1-1 against the Pacific Division.

First Period: Sleepy Start

60 seconds into the game, the Ducks score on a delayed Capitals penalty 6-on-5. Then, Hampus Lindholm went to the penalty box but the Capitals could not convert on the following power play. Great defensive work by Mike Weber on a 4-on-1 jailbreak by the Ducks. The Ducks went on the power play, which they are 19-for-42 in their 11-game winning streak. Justin Williams had two great chances but goaltender Gibson stopped him. The Capitals allowed too many odd-man rushes toward Braden Holtby.

GOALS: Ryan Getzlaf scored his 10th of the season (assists David Perron & Simon Despres) 

PENALTIES: Hampus Lindholm (hi-sticking); Daniel Winnik (roughing)

SCORE: Caps trail 1-0.

Second Period: Capital Chances

The Capitals started the second significantly better than the first. Jay Beagle missed a great opportunity on goaltender Gibson. Then Holtby made some great saves. Wilson and Ritchie got together but did not drop the gloves. Silfverberg tripped Oshie, which went uncalled, but the interference was. The Capitals had another power play chance but no dice. There was too many passes, not enough shooting on the net. The Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-Williams had some amazing chances throughout the period but Gibson denied all of them. But after 40 minutes, Capitals Captain Alex Ovechkin did not have a shot on goal yet.

GOALS: None

PENALTIES: Jakob Silfverberg (interference); Alex Ovechkin (slashing)

SCORE: Caps trail 1-0

Third Period: Andre Ties it! 

41 seconds into the third, Andre Burakovksy tied the game from a beautiful by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Reminder Burakovsky had two goals in Anaheim last season? Fantastic penalty kill by the Capitals. The last few minutes of the period were fast-paced and the kind of hockey you can’t look away from. Mike Richards almost scored the game-winner with less than a minute left in regulation. The Capitals and Ducks needed extra time to decide this one. 

GOALS: Andre Burakovsky scored his 14th of the season (assists: Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams)

PENALTIES: Too many men served by Nick Ritchie; Dmitry Orlov (hooking)

SCORE: Game tied 1-1

Overtime/Shootout: Oshie and Backy win it! 

The Russian connection almost ended the game. Matt Niskanen almost scored another game winner. There were too many Ducks with 1:40 left in the extra session but 15 seconds later T.J. Oshie was called for closing his hand on the puck. Braden Holtby made some great saves on the Ducks. No goals were scored in the extra session so the game needed the shootout to decide a winner. T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom secured the win for the Capitals. 

GOALS (shootout): T.J. Oshie; Corey Perry; Nicklas Backstrom

PENALTIES: Too many men served by Mike Santorelli; T.J. Oshie (closing hand on the puck)

SCORE: Caps win 2-1.

The Anaheim Ducks’ franchise record 11-game winning streak is over. 102 points for the Capitals in early March, that has already surpassed the Caps point total from last season (101). 

What’s Next?

Practice: The Capitals are scheduled to practice at the LA Kings practice facility, Toyota Sports Center, at 1:15pm PST on Tuesday.

Game: 10:30pm EST start on Wednesday against the LA Kings at Staples Center.

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