The Anaheim Ducks continue to struggle at home and on the power-play as the Washington Capitals came into Honda Center and squeaked out a 3-2 victory Tuesday night.
After winning two straight on the road, the Ducks returned home to Anaheim with the hopes of securing a victory in order to remain on top of the Pacific Division before Thursday night’s showdown with the San Jose Sharks. But each time the Ducks tied the game, Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals came and took it right back.
Ovechkin’s power-play goal 2:44 into the third period proved to be the game-winner for Washington.
Unlike the Capitals, the Ducks power-play was nonexistent once again. Anaheim failed to convert on five opportunities with the man advantage, a troubling trend as the Ducks have only scored two power-play goals in their last 16 games.
The Capitals opened the scoring early in the first period on a Joel Ward goal off a rebound courtesy of Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller. However, the Ducks struck back less than a minute later as a Ben Lovejoy slap shot knotted the game at one. Troy Brouwer scored with ten seconds remaining in the period to give Washington a 2-1 lead after the first.
Mathieu Perreault gave the Ducks a jump-start to the third period as he scored his 14th goal of the season to tie the game at two. But Ovechkin’s wicked slap shot on the power-play gave the Capitals the lead for good.
At one point this season, the Ducks were an astonishing 20-0-2 in Anaheim, but have gone 4-6-2 in their last 12 games at Honda Center. After a one-game stay in Anaheim, the Ducks will drive north to take on the San Jose Sharks in what will be a battle for Pacific Division supremacy.
Entering Tuesday night’s game, the Ducks and Sharks were in a deadlock for first place. While the Ducks fell to the Capitals, the Sharks had their own struggles as they were shut down by Roberto Luongo and the Florida Panthers.
With both teams losing Tuesday night, Thursday’s contest in San Jose has just become even more important as both teams look to get a leg up on the other in the race for the Pacific Division crown.
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