Ducks rally to stun Capitals
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.
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.