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#CapsDucks Postgame Notebook: California Scars

Caps come home dry from California trip, Johansson hits 100, Ovechkin drought hits top height.

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Ducks in Anaheim sends the Capitals home empty-handed from a three-game California road trip, the first time the Caps have suffered that fate since October, 1999.

Anaheim and Washington played a scoreless first before the Caps dug a three-goal ditch for themselves over a five-minute span early in the second. Corey Perry scored twice and Rickard Rakell added the third Anaheim goal just half a minute after Perry's second marker. 
Video: Caps players talk after the loss in Anaheim
"It's obviously not good enough," says Caps center Nicklas Backstrom. "We weren't satisfied with our game. We gave too many chances to the other team, and we have to stay out of the penalty box. That's a huge problem we have right now, but we're going to fix it." 

From Dec. 3 to Feb. 11 of this season, the Capitals suffered only four regulation losses in a span of 35 games (26-4-5). Three of the four games the Caps lost over that stretch were one-goal setbacks. 

Now, for the first time since early November of 2014, the Caps are lugging a four-game losing streak. For the first time in more than 10 years, the Caps have gone six straight games without scoring more than two goals. 

"Right now, goals aren't coming easy for a few guys," says Caps coach Barry Trotz. "We went through a stretch where everybody was feeling it and everybody was putting points on the board. And right now, there are not a lot of guys putting points on the board. We've got too many guys who are dry right now as a group. 
Video: Trotz talks after a 5-2 loss in Anaheim
"We'll have to work through it. If we're not scoring, we'll hopefully have to play a little tighter game. We'll have to stay out of the box; the last two games we've taken six penalties a game." 

Century City - Marcus Johansson netted the 100th goal of his NHL career in the second period of Sunday's game. The goal was also Johansson's 22nd of the season as he continues to add to a single-season career best total. With 44 points on the season, Johansson is now just three points shy of matching his single-season career high (47 in 2014-15) in that department as well. 
Video: WSH@ANA: Johansson scores 100th goal on deflection
Slumping Snipers - Veteran Ducks winger Corey Perry entered Sunday's game with one goal in his previous 12 contests; he recently ended a 10-game goal scoring dry spell. Perry scored twice and notched three points in the win over Washington.

Caps captain Alex Ovechkin is now mired in a 10-game goal-scoring drought of his own, the longest of his 906-game NHL career. Ovechkin did have more touches, good looks and scoring chances in the two weekend games at Los Angeles and Anaheim, respectively, so the hope is that he's close to snapping out of the scoring doldrums.

"He's skating," says Trotz. "There will be a lot made of him not scoring lately, but he's skating and maybe playing better than he has in the long stretches where he was scoring this year. 

"He's pretty dangerous, he's skating. I know that he's worked on that and he's getting chances and he's dangerous and he's being heavy, hard to play against. It'll come." 
Video: WSH Recap: Carlson, Johansson tally in Caps' 5-2 loss
Like Ovechkin, Perry has had a 50-goal season and has a Rocket Richard Trophy (2010-11) in his trophy case. Perry entered this season with five straight seasons of 30 or more goals, excluding the lockout season. Despite a slight increase in ice time this season over last, he may struggle to reach 20 this season; Perry has 14 goals in 69 games. 

"That's the Corey Perry of old," says Ducks coach Randy Carlyle, "taking it to the net like he did from the corner. He wormed his way to the front.

"It's funny how the game goes. The bounces weren't going his way and now he's getting a few. He's worked real hard. He's stayed with it and stayed focused. It's tough mentally on a player of that caliber when things don't go your way. It's up to us as a coaching staff to find ways to motivate him."

The 400 Club - Carlyle, a former Capitals' assistant coach, earned his 400th win as an NHL head coach with Sunday's victory over Washington. Along with Hockey Hall of Famer Bob Pulford, Carlyle is one of only two men in NHL history who played 1,000 or more games in the league and coached 750 or games in the circuit.

Carlyle becomes the 36th coach in league history to win as many as 400 games. Fifteen of those 36 coaches have been or are active in the NHL this season. 

Down On The Farm - The AHL Hershey Bears earned a 4-2 win over the visiting Providence Bruins on Sunday afternoon at Giant Center.

After surrendering the game's first goal in the second minute of the contest, the Bears bounced back on Stanislav Galiev's 20th goal of the season at the 4:25 mark of the first. Colby Williams drew the lone assist on Galiev's goal, which squared the game at 1-1. 

The Bruins nudged ahead 2-1 just before the midpoint of the first frame, but once again it was Galiev who issued the response. On a Hershey power play at 16:24 of the first, Galiev netted his second of the game with help from Christian Thomas and Tom Gilbert, squaring the game at 2-2. 

Hershey pushed ahead for the first time on Garrett Mitchell's eighth goal of the season at 14:19 of the second, Chris Bourque and Chandler Stephenson assisting.

Bears winger Nathan Walker iced the game with his 10th goal of the season, an empty-netter at 19:13 of the third. Paul Carey and Zach Sill earned assists on the Walker goal. 

Goaltender Pheonix Copley stopped 28 of 30 shots to improve to 3-1-0 since joining the Bears and 18-7-3 on the season. 

Hershey is now idle until next weekend when it hosts the Hartford Wolf Pack on Friday and Saturday nights at Giant Center. 

Down a level, the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays dropped a 4-3 home ice decision to the Florida Everblades on Sunday at North Charleston Coliseum. The Stingrays rolled out to a 3-0 lead by the midpoint of the second period on a trio of power-play tallies from John Parker, Steven McParland and Olivier Archambault.

But the Everblades rallied with four unanswered goals, including a natural hat trick from John McCarron, who scored his three goals in a span of just three minutes and 37 seconds beginning late in the second period and carrying over to the first minute of the third.

Parker Milner stopped 31 of the 35 shots he faced in a losing effort in the Stingrays' crease. South Carolina is idle until Saturday when it hosts Greenville at North Charleston Coliseum. 

By The Numbers - John Carlson led the Caps with 22:44 in ice time … Ovechkin and Carlson led the Caps with four shots on goal each, while Evgeny Kuznetsov led the team with 10 shot attempts … Tom Wilson led Washington with five hits … Carlson, Karl Alzner and Brooks Orpik each had a pair of blocked shots to lead the team … Only 38 percent of Washington's 71 shot attempts for the game resulted in shots on goal (27).

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