The Anaheim Ducks rallied to tie the game at four with 8:18 remaining in regulation after trailing 3-0. But the Washington Capitals had enough fireworks saved for the grand finish.
The Anaheim Ducks digged themselves an early grave, allowing Washington to strike early and often.
The win gives Washington their 12th straight win at home. They are now nine points clear of first place in the Eastern Conference, ahead of Columbus.
Anaheim drops to 1-4-0 on the current road trip.
Good As Advertised:
One of the things that makes Washington the best team in the league is their ability to combat the other team’s playing style.
They knew that the Anaheim Ducks were a team that liked a grinding, physical game.
Which is why they made sure their skating was on point. Washington’s speed was too much for Anaheim to handle early on, setting the tone.
Being a large part of why the Capitals outshot Anaheim, 16-5, in the opening frame.
In addition to their offense, Washington used their size and solid positioning to block shots and break up passes.
Allowing Braden Holtby to have an easy night, just facing 22 shots.
Karma’s A Pain:
As much as you feel a part of your team and like to defend them, sometimes players prove that task to be difficult.
Corey Perry slew footed Daniel Winnik about five minutes into the game.
Rules are rules and he was definitely worthy of occupying the sin bin on this one.
Winnik, of course, was Perry’s former teammate when he was in Anaheim from 2012-14 but that didn’t stop him from voicing his displeasure. As the two had a bit of a scuffle before the refs had a chance to settle things down.
And just a minute into the power play, TJ Oshie converts from the slot on a Marcus Johansson feed to open up the scoring.
Niklas Backstrom picked up a secondary assist on this play, giving him his 700th point.
He added two more points, giving him 702 at night’s end to become the franchise’s fourth all-time leading scorer.
To add insult to injury, Winnik scored on a shorthanded breakaway with Perry on the ice for the Caps fourth goal.
Give Us Some of That Please:
The Anaheim Ducks have been semi-jokingly labeled a one line team.
With much of its offense being sparked by Kesler, Cogliano and Silfverberg.
But that’s not to far from the truth. If there is one thing hurting Anaheim, it is their lack of depth.
And Washington assumed the role of a parent taunting a child with a lollipop over their head, as they had a different goal scorer for every goal.
Among them a first NHL goal for one Zach Sanford. It comes after splitting time this season with Washington and its AHL affiliate, Hershey Bears.
Sanford was slotted into the lineup alongside Brett Connolly and Lars Eller, filling in for an injured Andre Burakovsky.
I’m sure Bob Murray is busy on the phone looking for some missing pieces to the puzzle.