By: Matthew Garcia
Last night the Washington Capitals were in town for a tilt against the Anaheim Ducks. Anaheim, coming off a recent 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues will be looking to get back into the win column against a Capitals team that is looking to come out of California with at least two points as they have not been able to find success as they recently fell to the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday night, and lost to the San Jose Sharks back on Thursday night. Antoine Vermette will return to the line-up for Anaheim after serving a ten-game suspension for slashing linesman Shandor Alphonso. Meanwhile, the Capitals will be without the services of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk as he received a two-game suspension yesterday afternoon for charging against Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel on Saturday night. Jonathan Bernier would get the start for Anaheim, and Brayden Holtby would be in net for Washington.
The Ducks would look to get off to a quick start against a Capitals team that played just a night prior to their tilt against Anaheim, the Ducks had a heart-attack moment less than two minutes in as the Capitals would dump a puck in and it would take an awkward bounce off the glass, and land right back in front of a vacated net. Bernier would get back into position to make the first stop, and courtesy of a quick whistle the Capitals would remain off the scoreboard as Kevin Bieksa looked to tuck the puck into the pads of Bernier but would inadvertently push it under the goaltender and into the net. The Ducks would receive the first power play of the game as Lars Eller would sit for two minutes on an interference call against Vermette. The power play would be short-lived as Ryan Getzlaf would be on the receiving end of a tripping call against former Duck Daniel Winnik, the Capitals would have a man advantage for 01:06. The Ducks would be successful in killing off their first penalty of the game, each team is now 0/1 on the man advantage. The Capitals would get their crack at their first full two-minute penalty of the game as Ryan Kesler and Nicklas Backstrom would get together and exchange pleasantries, Kesler would be the only one sent to the box on an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Anaheim would be successful in killing off the penalty, and immediately following the penalty kill the Ducks would go on the power play as Tom Wilson would receive a minor penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for jumping off the bench and going after Kesler. The first period horn would sound and the teams would head to the locker room deadlocked at zero.
The Ducks would begin the second period with 01:24 of power play time. The Ducks would not be able to convert on their second power play of the night, and teams would resume five on five play. The Ducks would be the first to strike as Corey Perry would corral a puck in the offensive zone and dance around Holtby before potting it into a yawning net to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead 04:52 into the middle frame. The Capitals would get a chance to draw even as Getzlaf would head to the penalty box for the second time tonight on a tripping call against Wilson. The Capitals would get a couple of good chances as a failed clearing attempt would give the Caps some good opportunities, but Bernier and co. would stand tall. The Capitals power play would be short-lived as a battle in behind the Anaheim net would see Backstrom take a tripping penalty against Josh Manson. The Ducks would not be able to convert on their third power play chance of the night, but Kesler would find a streaking Perry and fire a puck that would be re-directed and into the back of the net just seconds after the power play expired to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead, and Perry’s second goal of the night. The Ducks would not be finished there, as 28 seconds later Rickard Rakell would rip one past Holtby right off the face-off to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the second period. The Capitals would get a chance to draw within two as Nick Ritchie would take a tripping penalty against T.J Oshie, the Capitals wouldn’t waste their fourth power play of the night as John Carlson would rip a slap shot in between the legs of Bernier and into the back of the net to make it a 3-1 game. The Ducks would continue their parade to the penalty box as Kesler would take a seat for two minutes on a high sticking call. The Ducks would kill off their fifth penalty to improve to 4/5 on the night. In the late stages of the period, Wilson would get an interference call against Brandon Montour, and the Ducks would look to take back their three goal lead. The second period horn would sound and the Ducks would take a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.
Anaheim will begin the third and final period with 55 seconds of power play time, the Ducks would be unable to convert on their fourth power play of the evening, but still hold a 3-1 lead over the Capitals. The Ducks would get their fifth opportunity on the man advantage less than three minutes into the period as Jay Beagle would get the gate for tripping. The Capitals would dig themselves a deeper hole as they would go down 5-3 for 41 seconds due to a slashing call levied against Oshie. The Ducks would not be able to convert on the 5-3 man advantage, but just as Beagle was coming out of the box Perry fed Getzlaf a cross-ice pass who would bury it up top on Holtby to give Anaheim a 4-1 lead and their first power play goal of the night on six chances. The Capitals would waste no time in putting on the pressure against Anaheim, and in doing so Marcus Johansson would get the Capitals back to within two after a shot was banked off of an Anaheim skate and in past Bernier who was unable to locate the puck. The Ducks would notch another goal just past the midway point of the third period as Jakob Silfverberg would send a cross-ice pass to a streaking Kesler who would get enough of it with his stick to pot his first of the night, and 20th of the season. The third period horn would sound and the Ducks would secure a much-needed two points against the top team in the NHL in a very tight playoff race.
Final Score: Washington-2 Anaheim-5
An offensive outburst was just what the doctor ordered for the Anaheim Ducks as they dispatched of the #1 team in the NHL. Corey Perry came alive in this game as he would notch two goals of his own while assisting on one, his twin Ryan Getzlaf would pot one goal of his own and help on two other goals en route to a victory in which they were celebrating their 10th anniversary of California’s first ever Stanley Cup. Rickard Rakell and Ryan Kesler joined in on the fun notching 1 goal apiece while Ducks goaltender Jonathan Bernier stood tall in the Anaheim net turning aside 25 of the 27 shots that he faced to help secure the win tonight against a struggling Capitals team. Randy Carlyle earned his 400th win as a coach.
And now we take a look at what went on around the rest of the league yesterday and take a glimpse at how it affected the pacific division standings, and playoff picture. The San Jose Sharks were in action against the visiting Dallas Stars. The Sharks dispatched of the Stars by a final score of 5-1 giving them another two points and moving further away from Anaheim, Calgary, and Edmonton. The Edmonton Oilers were in action against the visiting Montreal Canadiens, the Oilers led the Canadiens going into the third period of play, but an offensive outburst would see Montreal drop the Oilers by a final score of 4-1.
Pacific division / Wild card standings:
#1 – San Jose Sharks (89 pts)
#2 – Anaheim Ducks (82 pts)
#3 – Calgary Flames (80 pts)
WC #1 – Edmonton Oilers (79 pts)
WC #2 – St. Louis Blues (75 pts)
St. Louis (75 pts) @ Anaheim (82 pts) Wednesday at 7 PM PT.
Click below for highlights of the Ducks big win!
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March 13th, 2017