Washington 5, Ducks 1.

The storyline was different this time, but the result was a familiar one for the Ducks on this six-game road trip.

After allowing an early goal, Anaheim (24-23-7) resiliently battled the Washington Capitals (35-12-6) for 40 minutes, then ran out of gas in an up-and-down third period.

Washington scored a mere 36 seconds into the game when Alexander Ovechkin was inexplicably left alone in front of the net, and easily tapped in a rebound past Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who was getting a rare start 24 hours after Jonas Hiller lost in Atlanta.

Having been introduced to the reigning league MVP, the Ducks’ defense buckled down considerably on Ovechkin and the high-flying Capitals. When they didn’t, Giguere was almost never out of position, sprinkling in several point-blank saves among the 34 he made through two periods.

The Ducks tied the game in the second period when Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth allowed a long rebound off a deep Sheldon Brookbank slapshot. The puck came to Dan Sexton in the left faceoff circle, and the Ducks rookie didn’t miss a wide-open net at 11:23.

But Washington, which leads the NHL at 3.81 goals per game, made up for lost time by teeing off against Giguere in the third period.

Shaone Morrisonn angled a deep slapshot in off the skate of Steve Eminger at 1:15 for the go-ahead goal. Mike Knuble scored 56 seconds after, and Alexander Semin scored on a breakaway at 4:15, making it a three-goal game in a three-minute span.

Semin provided the final score with another goal, this time during a 5-on-3 shift, at 11:47.

The Capitals’ eighth straight win is the team’s longest in 26 years.

The Ducks fell to 1-3 on the road trip, which resumes in Tampa Bay on Friday. Giguere stopped 44 shots in his first start since Jan. 3.

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL and tagged , , , by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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