Ducks rally to stun Cap­i­tals

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Pon­tus Aberg scored the tiebreaker with 5:05 re­main­ing and fin­ished with two goals and one as­sist as the Ana­heim Ducks ral­lied from a four­goal sec­ond pe­riod deficit and stunned the host Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals 6-5 on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

Aberg scored his sec­ond goal of the game af­ter a pass from Ryan Get­zlaf (one goal, two as­sists). With Wash­ing­ton goalie Braden Holtby pulled away from the net, Aberg scored eas­ily from the left side and com­pleted the Ducks’ come­back from a 5-1 deficit as they scored the fi­nal five goals.

The Ducks scored twice in the sec­ond pe­riod and added three more in the third and ended Wash­ing­ton’s seven-game win­ning streak.

For the Ducks, Ryan Miller came on for start­ing goalie John Gib­son af­ter he gave up three goals in the first 13:19 and held Wash­ing­ton to two, earn­ing the win.

Miller fin­ished with 19 saves in the win. Nick­las Back­strom gave the Cap­i­tals a 1-0 lead when he scored in the open­ing minute. Alex Ovechkin came in with Back­strom on a two-on-one rush and fed his line-mate, who eas­ily put it away.

Chan­dler Stephen­son scored at 6:08 when his cen­ter­ing pass from the right side de­flected off an Ana­heim player’s skate and past Gib­son. Get­zlaf cut the lead to 2-1 with his

goal for the Ducks at 9:24 be­fore Wash­ing­ton an­swered once more.

John Carl­son blasted a shot from near the blue line that Tom Wil­son got his stick on to de­flect past Gib­son. That goal came at 13:19, made it 3-1, and ended Gib­son’s day.

The Cap­i­tals stretched the lead to 4-1 on Evgeny Kuznetsov’s daz­zling goal in the sec­ond pe­riod. He was sprung by a quick pass from Brett Con­nolly near cen­ter ice, came in alone, made a quick fake that moved Miller and ac­tu­ally tucked the puck into the cor­ner of the net while a stride or two past it at 4:59.

Nic Dowd added a Wash­ing­ton goal later in the pe­riod be­fore An­drew Cogliano and Rickard Rack­ell started Ana­heim’s come­back with goals 55 sec­onds apart, and it was 5-3 af­ter two pe­ri­ods.

The Ducks then got power-play goals from Aberg and Ham­pus Lind­holm less than two min­utes apart mid­way through the third pe­riod, ty­ing the game with 10:59 re­main­ing. Both came as a re­sult of board­ing penal­ties to Dmitry Orlov of the Cap­i­tals. Aberg got the game-win­ner later on.

AVALANCHE’S VAR­LAMOV SHUTS OUT RED WINGS

Se­myon Var­lamov had 24 saves for his first shutout of the sea­son and Nathan MacK­in­non had a goal and an as­sist as the Colorado Avalanche beat the host Detroit Red Wings 2-0 on Sun­day night.

Gabe Lan­deskog also had a goal and an as­sist, and Mikko Ran­ta­nen, the lead­ing scorer in the NHL, had as­sists on both goals for the Avalanche, who have gone 9-0-2 since los­ing five in a row.

Colorado’s top line ac­counted for all the points, and the shutout is the first this sea­son for the team.

MacK­in­non, who led the league in scor­ing in Novem­ber and was named the NHL’s sec­ond star for the month, kept up his strong play with his 19th goal of the sea­son. He struck six sec­onds af­ter Jonathan Eric­s­son drew a hold­ing mi­nor.

MacK­in­non won the face­off back to Lan­deskog, who fed Ran­ta­nen low. Ran­ta­nen quickly sent a pass to MacK­in­non in the slot, and his one-timer beat for­mer team­mate Jonathan Bernier at 4:54 of the sec­ond pe­riod.

Tyson Jost had a chance to give Colorado a two-goal lead when he had a break­away later in the sec­ond pe­riod, but the puck slid off his stick as he tried to back­hand it past Bernier.

Bernier, who was Var­lamov’s backup last sea­son, fin­ished with 27 saves.

The game fea­tured two teams that com­pro­mised one of the most heated ri­val­ries from 1996-2002.

(Getty Im­ages/AFP)

Pon­tus Aberg (left) of the Ana­heim Ducks cel­e­brates his game-win­ning goal with team­mate Kiefer Sher­wood against the Wash­ing­ton Cap­i­tals dur­ing the third pe­riod in Wash­ing­ton.

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