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The Anaheim Ducks close this road trip with a visit to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Capitals. Tonight a winning streak will end. The Capitals are currently riding a 7 game-winning streak and the Ducks are currently riding a 3 game-winning streak.
The Ducks will need to tighten things up offensively to stay in the game against the defending Stanley Cup Champions who seem to continue right where they left off. The special teams will be key in creating chances and get the pucks past the stellar Brayden Holtby. The Ducks will be able to create plays off the faceoff, Adam Henrique has been dominating in the face-off and he is currently 60% in the circle and that is why he is becoming the face-off ace for the Anaheim DucksThe Ducks defense will really need to kick up their game to another level to keep the dangerous Alex Ovechkin, Tom Wilson, and Nicklas Backstrom off of the scoreboard.
Speaking of the defense… What time is is tonight to take on the defending Stanley Cup Champions? Only the starting goaltender can answer that.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
IT’S GIBBY GIBBY GIBBY TIME!!! John Gibson is in net to take on the Capitals but because they are the defending Stanley Cup Champions we will see if it stays that way. Gibson is a technically sound and is able to make big athletic saves to keep the puck out. The Ducks know that if Gibson does get pulled in a game they have a similar goalie as their backup. Ryan Miller is older but when looking at goaltender statistics the numbers are the same. The Ducks can count on Miller if Gibson is pulled since Miller is almost equal to Gibson.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
The puck is dropped and the first period is underway…
It didn’t take the Capitals long to show the Ducks that they have picked up where they left off because less than a minute into the period… the Washington Capitals Goal. It’s Nicklas Backstrom with the goal. He got a 2-on-1 break and it was an easy tap-in with only one defender on the rush. There wasn’t anything Gibson could really do to keep that one out of the net. The Capitals take the early lead, it’s 1-0 Capitals.
Click here to see: Capitals Goal #1
Devante Smith-Pelly takes a shot and ends up hitting the neck protector. Gibson signals that the official needed to blow the whistle so he could get a new one but the referee ignored him. This is the starting point of Gibson’s frustration. Finally after a whistle Gibson goes up to the official that ignored him to show his cracked protector before going to the bench but the official didn’t want to talk to him and then Ryan Kesler steps in and seemed like that official wanted nothing to do with them.
A minute after that the Washington Capitals Goal. It’s Chandler Stephenson who is credited a goal when it’s deflected in off Jake Dotchin’s skate. It was a bad bounce that Gibson didn’t see coming but some say that Gibson was not focused because of the issue with his mask and the officials doing absolutely nothing it the reason it got past him. The Capitals extend their lead, it’s 2-0 Capitals.
Click here to see: Capitals Goal #2
It didn’t take long for the captain to react to the Capitals goal because 3 minutes later… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #15 RYAN GETZLAF!!! ASSISTED BY THE #67 RICKARD RAKELL!!! Rakell takes a shot that is DENIED by Holtby but the captain sneaks to the back door and it easily finds the back of the net. The Ducks are on the board but they are down a goal, it’s 2-1 Capitals.
Click here to see: GOAL- Getzlaf puts Ducks on the board
The Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty kill as it’s Rickard Rakell being sent to the penalty box for boarding Matt Niskanen. This is a terrible call made by the officials because Niskanen fell into the boards and Rakell’s shoulder was not square like he was going to make a hit that deserved a penalty. This was a penalty that would cost the Ducks…
The Washington Capitals Goal. It’s Tom Wilson with the power play goal and there was no chance for Gibson to keep that one out of the net. The Capitals extend their lead over the Ducks, it’s 3-1 Capitals.
Click here to see: Capitals Goal #3
After the Capitals scored the third goal… a very frustrated Gibson is to the bench for the night and it looks like he doesn’t mind it at all. Ryan Miller comes in relieve Gibson with 6:41 remaining in the first period.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
We are on MILLER MILLER MILLER TIME for the rest of this one about 47 minutes remain in the game. Gibson is a star but the veteran is ready to step in when it isn’t Gibson’s night and that is the case here in Washington.
The Capitals capitalized off of the penalty to Rakell… penalty not killed and Rakell is out of the box and the Ducks are back to full strength.
With 3:19 remaining the captain is up in front to provide the net front presence to get a goal deflected and Getzlaf is slightly in the crease and barely bumps Holtby but because of how Holtby reacted lead the officials to call goaltender interference when there was no intention to bump or run into Holtby.
Here is Getzlaf’s reaction to Holtby after the whistle is blown.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
Due to the reaction the Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty box as Ryan Getzlaf is sent to the penalty box for goaltender interference on Brayden Holtby. It’s MILLER TIME on the penalty kill as he is DENYING each puck that the Capitals shoot at him… penalty killed and the Ducks are back to full strength.
The Ducks head to the locker room down 3-1 to the Capitals after 20 minutes of play. For the Ducks to stay in the game they need to clear the fog to have the chance in defeating the Stanley Cup Champions. The Ducks didn’t get on a good side in the beginning with the officials and it cost them a few goals. John Gibson started in the net for this one but was pulled after a power play goal but he was worked up, frustrated, and mad at the officials early. Miller came in strong and making a few good saves and is standing tall so the Ducks know they are in good hands. The Ducks need to apply pressure and be more aggressive and physical to stay in this one because they are playing a team that seems to pick up right where they left off when they won the Stanley Cup. The Ducks need to create chances and stay strong because they now know that the officials are not on there side and there most likely will be more penalty kills that the Ducks will face in the rest of this one. The Ducks will look to turn the tables even when the odds are against them in this game.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
Here we go the puck is dropped and the second period is underway…
A much better start with Miller DENYING the first few shots on goal right away. This will show that it will either take a lot of effort or get lucky in getting the puck past Ryan Miller who just happens to be on MILLER TIME.
Unfortunately, the Capitals made a good play and they capitalized off of it… the Washington Capitals Goal. It’s scored by Evgeny Kuznetsov, he fakes and gets it past Miller and into the back of the net. The Ducks challenge for offsides but in a game that hasn’t been going their way the call from the Situation Room in Toronto is GOOD GOAL and that the Ducks have lost their timeout in the game. The Capitals extend their lead just about 5 minutes into the period, it’s 4-1 Capitals.
Click here to see: Capitals Goal #4
Right after the coaches challenge the Ducks are penalized with a delay of game penalty and the official that got the Ducks worked up in the first period is the one who made the call, Randy Carlyle sends Pontus Aberg to the penalty box for the delay of game (there was no explanation of why he called delay of game on the Ducks).
The Ducks need to get something going to stay in the game and to start attacking the net. The agitator known as Ryan Kesler tries to do just that but his shot is DENIED by Holtby.
Click here to see: Holtby denies Kesler
Miller comes up with a big save on a one-timer from up top and that DENIED them from getting a second power play goal… penalty killed and the Ducks are back to full strength.
Being the Ducks agitator and he lights a spark in his team to wake up and basically saying that we need to do something to create more offense to get some kind of chance in catching up and taking over this game. So far it’s been all Capitals and Kesler starts showing that it’s time to turn it around and make it more Ducks in this one.
The Ducks created more offense but the shots they fired were DENIED by Holtby and the Capitals who found ways to block shots from getting them through to Holtby.
With about 6:30 remaining the Caps were able to get one of their many shots through… the Washington Capitals Goal. It’s Nic Dowd that is in front of Miller to deflect the puck in the back of the net off of Stephenson’s shot. The Capitals with a huge lead in this one, it’s 5-1 Capitals.
Click here to see: Capitals Goal #5
The Ducks need to do something to energize and bring life back to the Ducks bench and to light a fire that will cause the Ducks to explode and that is exactly what Cogliano was thinking… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE # 7 ANDREW COGLIANO!!! ASSISTED BY THE #32 JACOB LARSSON!!! ASSISTED BY THE #15 RYAN GETZLAF!!! Those Sweds make beautiful things happen, Larsson finds Cogliano who find the back of the net and he put a little extra life when he takes a hit into the crossbar. Cogliano is shooken up but isn’t bad since he remained on the bench and out of the locker room. The Ducks have life but the Capitals remain in the lead for now, it’s 5-2 Capitals.
Click here to see: GOAL- Cogliano muscles it home
When you get energy and life off a goal and mention that to a Swed is when you get a very dangerous Rakell especially when Rakell turns on RickRakAttack mode on and this time it took only 55 seconds after the goal from Cogliano for him to silence the crowd in Capital One Arena… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!!! IT’S A SWED GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #67 RICKARD RAKELL!!! ASSISTED BY THE #14 ADAM HENRIQUE!!! Henrique fires at the net and the net front presence because Rakell is there to cash in the rebound off of Henrique’s shot. Having Sweds on a team sometimes makes a huge difference.
Click here to see: SWED GOAL- RickRakAttack buries it on his second chance
The Ducks head off to the locker room trailing 5-3 to the Capitals after 2 periods of play. They enter the locker room with energy and have regained life with the late goals by Cogliano and Rakell. The Ducks will definitely come into the third in attack mode because of the back-to-back goals that brought life into the Ducks bench and they took it to the locker room. The Capitals might need to watch out because this is the Ducks best period and the epic comeback period at times throughout the season. Photo by Anaheim Ducks
Here we go the puck is dropped and we are underway in the third period…
Josh Manson isn’t a player that shows signs off being in pain or distress but that is what the BEASTLY Manson showed after getting slashed by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Manson stayed on the bench and DID NOT head to the locker room.
The Anaheim Ducks are on a JMG POWER PLAY!!! It’s Evgeny Kuznetsov off to the penalty box for slashing Josh Manson. The Ducks had shots but couldn’t get one through… we have 4-on-4 hockey for 15 second as it’s Nick Ritchie off to the penalty box for tripping Chandler Stephenson. Ducks power play has expired and the Capitals are back to full strength. The Ducks have 1:45 remaining on the penalty kill. Holtby wanted to play the puck but with Lindholm there in the zone is forced to make the glove save. Alex Ovechkin shoots his one-timer twice from his spot which is above the faceoff circle but it’s DENIED by Miller since it’s MILLER TIME.
Click here to see: Miller pad save on Ovechkin
Looks like the Capitals couldn’t capitalize off that one… penalty killed and the Ducks are back to full strength.
The BEASTLY Josh Mason seems to be a target in this one… Manson gets boarded BIG TIME by Dmitry Orlov he sent Manson hard into the boards and that isn’t an easy thing to do to the BEASTS of ANAHEIM.
The officials got that one right, Dmitry Orlov is off to the penalty box for boarding Josh Manson. The Sweds made things happen and showed what they get when Ducks get boarded… AND THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! IT’S A JMG POWER PLAY GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #20 PONTUS ABERG!!! ASSISTED BY THE #47 HAMPUS LINDHOLM!!! ASSISTED BY THE #25 ONDREJ KASE!!! Lindholm gets it to Aberg and he goes top shelf and the puck goes in off the post. There wasn’t really anything Holtby could’ve done on such an unbelievable goal. The Ducks are a goal away from tying up the game, it’s 5-4 Capitals.
Click here to see: SWED GOAL- Aberg rips a PPG off the post
The Capitals were unsuccessful on the PK… penalty expired and the Capitals are back to full strength.
Some players never learn… Dmitry Orlov is sent back into the penalty box for boarding Andrew Cogliano. Orlov shoves Cogliano hard into the boards head first. The Ducks are on a JMG POWER PLAY just minutes after Orlov came out of the box for boarding Manson. There is Swed success on the power play… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! IT’S A JMG POWER PLAY GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #47 HAMPUS LINDHOLM!!! ASSISTED BY THE #25 ONDREJ KASE!!! ASSISTED BY THE #17 RYAN KESLER!!! Lindholm takes the shot that goes between the post and Holtby and there is nothing Holtby could do to keep it out. The Ducks tie this one up, it tied 5-5.
Click here to see: SWED GOAL- Lindholm’s PPG ties the game
The Anaheim Ducks go on the penalty kill as it’s Kiefer Sherwood off to the penalty box for boarding Madison Bowey. The Capitals tried but they couldn’t get one to find the back of the net because it’s MILLER TIME… penalty killed and the Ducks are back to full strength.
Just seconds after the penalty expired… THE ANAHEIM DUCKS GOAL!!! SCORED BY THE #20 PONTUS ABERG!!!! ASSISTED BY THE #15 RYAN GETZLAF!!! ASSISTED BY THE #64 KIEFER SHERWOOD!!! Sherwood is out of the box and joins the rush with Getzlaf and Aberg. Getzlaf is in front and Holtby is swimming to keep the puck out but swats it right to Aberg who pots in the go-ahead goal, the puck easily finds the back of the net since Holtby is down in the butterfly position from Getzlaf’s shot. The Ducks take the lead for the first time in the game, it’s 6-5 Ducks.
Click here to see: SWED GOAL- Aberg with the go-ahead goal
IT’S MILLER TIME!!! The Capitals tried to get pucks past Miller but Ovechkin is DENIED with a little over a minute remaining and during that time Miller was rock solid. Miller with the huge glove save Miller.
The Capitals couldn’t get one past and the Ducks who trailed the whole game made an epic comeback to defeat the Stanley Cup Champs 6-5 here at Capital One Arena.
Photo by Shutterstock
The Ducks scored five unanswered goals in the second and third periods, including the go-ahead tally late in regulation to pull off a feat never done before in their franchise’s history. Today’s comeback in Washington marked the first time in club history the Ducks have rallied from four goals down to win on the road (and first such comeback win in regulation). Only once before have the Ducks ever come back to win after trailing by four goals, and it came at home in overtime when they rallied from 4-0 down to beat the Winnipeg Jets, 5-4, on March 31, 2014.
The Ducks became the first road team to accomplish the feat in regulation since Colorado on March 9, 1999 at Florida. Additionally, the four-goal comeback win also marked the first time in which a team (home or road) overcame such a deficit against a defending Stanley Cup Champion.
It was a milestone performance for Miller, who, with the win, tied John Vanbiesbrouck (374) for the all-time lead among U.S.-born goaltenders in victories.
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
Thoughts on the game from the Anaheim Ducks players and coaches
Photo by Anaheim Ducks
Ryan Miller (on the milestone): It was talked about at the end of last year. It was something I tried to get to as early as possible for two reasons – it helps the team win and also to push it aside and kind of get it over with. It was nice.”
Ryan Miller (on Anaheim’s fourth straight win): It was a wild game to have it happen. It’s probably the right way to do it. I’ve had a lot of guys over the years put it on the line so I could get a win in my column, and tonight’s a reflection of that kind of group effort.”
Ryan Miller (on the response after Capitals fifth goal): Wins come in all varieties over the course of a season, but this one was unlike any other. It was definitely looking grim when they put their fifth on the board, but we responded. You’re going to need these kinds of effort over the course of the season.”
Photo by The Hockey Writers
Pontus Aberg (on the go-ahead goal): It was a good play from Kiefer. Getzy touched it to me and I had an open net. I tried to be patient and put it in.
Pontus Aberg (on his second goal): “An empty net,” Aberg said. “I just tried to be patient not to rush it because I didn’t want to miss that one. [Holtby] put his stick up and fortunately it went in.”
Pontus Aberg (on the second half of the game): After 10 [minutes] in the second [period] there, we took the game over. I don’t know if they stopped playing, but we turned [it] up. I think we played well from there and the last 10 [minutes] in the third, the game is ours. Good for us.
Photo by NHL NBC Sports
Head Coach Randy Carlyle (on the teams previous success not being on Ducks’ mind): Believe me, there wasn’t anybody on that bench accepting where we were just because we’d had some success previously in winning three in a row. That wasn’t even in their minds.
Photo by Washington Capitals
Thoughts on the game from the Washington Capitals players and coaches
Photo by Washington Post
Nic Dowd (on the game): We had a couple letdowns, the building got a little quiet and the game got away from us.
Photo by Sporting News
Nicklas Backstrom (on the game after the fifth goal): We kind of stopped playing there after 5-1. We got a little too passive. They’re a good team and they got the two quick goals there [late in the second], and they kept going after that. When we were up 5-1, we should have been a little more aggressive than we were, so it’s our fault.
Nicklas Backstrom (on the game leading 5-1): Should have shut them down there with a 5-1 lead. They shouldn’t be able to come back. They’re a good team and they’ve got some skill on there, so that’s what’s going to happen when we turn pucks over and give them room on the PP.
Photo by Getty Images
Head Coach Todd Reirden (on the game and their mistakes): It was mostly self-inflicted for sure. We got away from our team identity, and we worked really hard to establish our identity in the run of games that we were winning there. If you’re going to make mistakes and turn it into a chance for chance game when you’re ahead, you’re playing with danger. That was a tough loss, but certainly one that will be easy to learn from because they were correctable mistakes.
Head Coach Todd Reirden (on the takeaway from the loss): I think we lost a little bit of focus and our ability to have had success over the streak was playing a certain way and we stopped playing that way, and then they were able to capitalize. They’re a good team. The League’s too good and you give them chances, they’re going to convert. It’s a good lesson, but a hard lesson.
Blog post coming up next…
This season marks the 25th Anniversary of the Anaheim Ducks franchise. It is going to be a season filled with many surprises and who knows maybe one of those many surprises might be going far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs!!!!
LET’S GO DUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Sources are all by The Anaheim Ducks/ anaheimducks.com
Source: Kyle Shohara- Preview: Ducks Look to Close Out Road Trip With a Win Against Capitals
Source: Kyle Shohara- Recap: Ducks Pull Off Stunning Comeback to Defeat Capitals, 6-5
Source Harvey Valentine- Ducks rally from four down to top Capitals, Miller matches Vanbiesbrouck
Source: Mike Vogel- Caps Cough Up Four-Goal Lead in 6-5 Loss to Ducks
Video source: YouTube posted by NHL
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