Ducks Vs. Capitals: Capitals Get To Overtime, But Fall 2-1 En Route To Seventh Straight Loss

The number seven proves to be unlucky for the Capitals, who get to overtime, but fall to the Anaheim Ducks 2-1 for their seventh straight loss.

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Ducks Vs. Capitals: Ryan Getzlaf Scores As Overtime Dwindles Down, Ducks Extend Capitals' Losing Streak To Seven In 2-1 Win

The Capitals entered Wednesday's game against the Anaheim Ducks with plenty of fire and jumped on the Ducks early. But when it mattered most, the Caps couldn't score. Ryan Getzlaf scored in overtime to give the visitors a 2-1 victory and the Capitals their seventh straight loss.

Brooks Laich got the Capitals on the scoreboard first at 14:22 of the first period when he fired a backhand top shelf over Jonas Hiller's shoulder. Nicklas Backstrom cycled behind the net and found John Carlson for a wrist shot. Hiller stopped Carlson's blast, but left a rebound for Laich to pounce on. Laich almost scored again, beating Hiller with a shot from the slot, but Getzlaf swiped it away just inches before it crossed the goal line to keep the game at 1-0.

The start of the second period found the Capitals with several scoring chances, but none would go in. First, Alex Ovechkin found himself alone on a breakaway, but hit the crossbar above Hiller's catching glove. Shortly after, Mike Green, Mike Knuble and Backstrom had a 3-on-1 opportunity. Green would pass to Knuble, who crossed to Backstrom. Backstrom had an open net, but Hiller, who made 31 saves, got his stick over just enough to stop Backstrom's shot.

"Alex [Ovechkin] had a breakaway [that] hit the cross bar, Nick hit both posts on a three-on-one," Knuble said. "He did everything 99% right he just hit both posts and hit the goalie in the rear. Nine times out of ten that'll go in. We did a lot of good things. It's going to take some small steps here to move forward. Again, it's not a win. All the sudden wins have become very elusive and for this group ...it's a different feeling for sure."    

Anaheim, however, was able to tie the game at 12:47 when Joffrey Lupul scored on the power play. Lupul, already not beloved by Caps fan for ending their playoff run three years ago, pushed a rebound past Semyon Varlamov after Cam Fowler's initial slap shot.

The third period saw both teams trade chances, but in overtime, Getzlaf found himself open enough on the left faceoff circle to fire a shot past Varlamov to end the game with 57 seconds left in the extra frame. 

Despite outshooting Anaheim 32-24, Washington has now scored one goal or less in five of their last seven games.

"When they're not going in, they're not going in," Laich said. "But I thought our team did a great job without the puck and if we play like that, we are going to get rewarded for it. I thought the game plan the coaches set for us was done very well."

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Ducks Vs. Capitals: Caps Have Their Chances, But Ducks Find The Net To Tie The Game After Two Periods

After a hot start in the first period, the Caps started the second period in similar fashion except for the simple matter of the puck not going into the net. The Ducks found a way to get one in and the score is tied at 1-1.

The Caps had two great chances to extend their lead early in the period. First, Alex Ovechkin found himself alone on a breakaway, but hit the crossbar above Jonas Hiller's catching glove. Shortly after, Mike Green, Mike Knuble and Nicklas Backstrom had a 3-on-1 opportunity. Green sent a pass to Knuble, who crossed it to Backstrom, but Hiller threw his stick out and made a highlight save to keep the Ducks in the game.

Joffrey Lupul, already not beloved by Caps fan for ending their playoff run three years ago, tied the game at 1-1 at 12:47 when he tapped in a rebound off a Cam Fowler shot from the point. 

Despite not putting pucks behind Hiller, the Capitals hold a 26-14 shot advantage.

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Ducks Vs. Capitals: Brooks Laich Gives Caps Early 1-0 Lead Over Ducks

The Washington Capitals entered tonight's game against the Anaheim Ducks in search of anything positive after six consecutive losses. Through one period, they have reason to feel good about themselves.

Brooks Laich ended the Capitals' scoreless drought at 14:22 of the first period on a backhand shot from the slot on a rebound from John Carlson. Carlson came sliding down the wing and fired after receiving Nicklas Backstrom's pass from down low.

Carlson's shot was stopped, but the rebound went straight to Laich, who was below the circles and backhanded it passed the Ducks' Jonas Hiller.

Moments later, Laich had another golden opportunity, but this time luck was not on his side. After a Ducks turnover, Laich was wide open in the mid-slot and fired a shot at Hiller. The puck managed to slip through Hiller's legs, but Ryan Getzlaf cleared the loose puck out of the crease before it could slide past the goalline.

The Capitals fired 17 shots on Hiller and generated nine scoring chances, but only a couple shots came from below the circles or in the slot area.

Washington did hold the Ducks to seven shots on goal and allowed just two scoring chances.

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Ducks Vs. Capitals: Starting Lineup

Via Washington Post's Katie Carrera, here is tonight's starting lineup for the Washington Capitals as they attempt to snap their six-game losing streak against the Anaheim Ducks at Verizon Center.

Forwards
Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble
Chimera-Perreault-Fehr
Laich-Steckel-Bradley
Hendricks-Beagle-A.Gordon

Defense
Alzner-Green
Hannan-Carlson
Erskine-Poti

Goal
Varlamov
Neuvirth

Alexander Semin, Marcus Johansson and Boyd Gordon are the scratches. In their place, Andrew Gordon and Jay Beagle have been recalled from AHL Hershey. Mike Green will also return to the lineup after suffering from the flu.

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Mighty Ducks Vs. Capitals: Alexander Semin Questionable, Semyon Varlamov To Start In Goal

The Washington Capitals may still not have a full crew of players available when they play the Anaheim Mighty Ducks tonight at 7 p.m. Alexander Semin, the team's high-scoring winger, did not participate in the Capitals' morning skate and is questionable for the game, according to coach Bruce Boudreau.

Of course, many Caps fans would say that even when he's played recently, Semin has been invisible. Nevertheless, if he is out, it will be yet another player loss for a team that's suffered several this season.

On another note, Semyon Varlamov will be the team's starter in goal, according to Boudreau. Varlamov was in net for the Capitals 7-0 beatdown in New York, but Boudreau said he believes in Varlamov and thinks all young goalies have bad games occasionally. It's a departure from Boudreau's traditional strategy of riding whichever goalie is playing better hockey. 

The Caps will be looking to snap their six-game losing streak in this one.

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Ducks Vs. Capitals: Caps Hope Number '7' Is Lucky In Ending Losing Streak

Not much else can be said regarding the Washington Capitals' recent struggles. Their six-game losing streak is their longest since March 2007 and their 7-0 loss to the New York Rangers Sunday was their worst defeat in almost five years. With the WInter Classic and the new year looming in the distance, the Capitals hope to right things in 2010 Wednesday when they host the Anaheim Ducks at Verizon Center.

Washington last tasted victory December 1 in a 4-1 win over the St. Louis Blues. Since then, the Capitals have been outscored 23-8 and have been shutout twice. In fact, under head coach Bruce Boudreau, the Caps have been shutout only 12 times in 257 games, but four of those games have come this season. The power play, the NHL's best last season, has gone 3-for-26 (11.5%) during the streak. The usually-potent offense of Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Nicklas Backstrom has combined for just two goals. When all of these statistics are combined, the Capitals, the highest-scoring team one year ago, are averaging 3.00 GF/G, 9th in the NHL and down from last year's 3.82 GF/G.

Ovechkin got into a rare fight Sunday against Brandon Dubinsky in what was seen as a statement to his team. The Capitals will need some fire to fight off the Ducks. Anaheim has won six of 10 and is heading out on a seven day, five-game road trip where they will look to make a statement against a downed Capitals team. The Ducks have five double-digit goal scorers, led by Corey Perry's 16 goals. Perry earned his first career hat trick Sunday in a 6-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.

The Capitals' injury and illness woes continue to plague them. Boyd Gordon will now be out for at least a week with an undisclosed injury. Semin and Marcus Johansson sat out of practice Tuesday with flu-like symptoms, while Mike Green, who didn't make the trip to New York because of the flu, skated, making his status unclear.

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