Caps Edge Ducks 5-4

Photo: AP

By Michael Walters

The Anaheim Ducks hosted the Washington Capitals losing to try to end their seven game losing streak. John Gibson was in net against Darcy Kuemper. Radko Gudas returned to action after missing last game with a lower body injury.


The Capitals struck first as Anthony Mantha scored on a backhand shot just over a minute into this contest. Tristan Luneau then tied it up about 20 seconds later. His initial shot was blocked by a defender and Luneau got his own rebound and fired it in before Kuemper could locate the puck.

The Ducks took the lead about six minutes later in the game. Leo Carlsson drove between two defenders and almost scored, but his shot was blocked. Brett Leason got to the rebound and wristed it just past Kuemper’s leg pad.

Anaheim had a 2-1 lead, but it didn’t last long as Washington scored three goals in three minutes. Tom Wilson scored on a breakaway to tie the game up at two. He then followed that up with a power play goal to give the Caps a 3-2 lead. Twenty seconds after the power play goal, Nic Dowd tipped a point shot past Gibson to make it 4-2. Washington took the two goal lead to the locker room.

In the middle frame there was no scoring, but the Ducks had their chances. They had three power plays throughout the period, but couldn’t convert on any of them. The Ducks out shot the Caps 15 to 4, but still trailed by two heading to the third period.

In the third period, the Ducks took a couple of early penalties and had to kill off a 5-on-3 power play the Caps had for 1:18 of play. Anaheim was able to kill off the penalties and seemed to gain some momentum. Brock McGinn would score about halfway through the period to pull the Ducks within one. He deflected the puck from the slot area last Kuemper.

A few minutes later the Ducks were back on the penalty kill and Wilson scored to make it a 5-3 lead. It was Wilson’s third goal of the game.

The Ducks pulled Gibson in the final minutes and Frank Vatrano scored with 27 seconds left. He crashed the crease after an initial shot and punched it in to get Anaheim back within one. Unfortunately the Ducks couldn’t get another score to tie the game and lost 5-4.


The Ducks gave a up a quick goal to start this one, but settled in and played well for a majority of the first period. The shot attempts at even strength were 17 for each team and the Ducks had a 2-1 lead through 15 minutes of play. It was the final four minutes or so of the period that cost Anaheim.  The Ducks were called for a penalty late in the period which the Caps converted and then they were able to score again within 20 seconds. The final minutes were a momentum shift in favor of Washington.

Despite the Caps getting three goals at the end of the first, the Ducks played well in the second and third periods. Anaheim dominated the play in the second period posting a 74.07 CF% and 80.95 FF% as they put up 20 shot attempts to just 7 for Washington. The Ducks had power plays and scoring chances, but they just couldn’t get a goal. The Ducks also posted a 73.68 CF% and 81.82 FF% in the third period. Special teams did hurt Anaheim in this one. The Caps scored twice on six power plays, while the Ducks didn’t score in any of their five man advantages.

Head Coach Greg Cronin may have listened to our recent podcast because he split up Cam Fowler and Jackson LaCombe, which we suggested. He put Luneau with Fowler and they seemed to play well together. LaCombe was also put back on his natural side with Gudas.

On a positive note, Anaheim got scoring from the fourth line with two goals by McGinn and Leason. Carlsson again looked solid in this one. If the Ducks can get some more balanced scoring they can likely end this losing streak.

Team notes/Stats:

Tristan Luneau scored his first career NHL goal.

Vatrano scored his team leading 14th goal.

The Ducks finished November with a 4-10-0 record.

Gibson tied Jean-Sebastian Giguere for most game(447) played by a goalie in team history.

What’s Next?

The Ducks host the Colorado Avalanche at 7PM.


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November 30th, 2023


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