Facing the top team in the league, the Ducks knew they'd be in for a fight - and that's exactly what happened at the end of a chaotic second period in a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. Fifty minutes of penalties were handed out when the dust settled, including a two fighting majors, a 10-minute misconduct, game misconduct and a match penalty.
Sam Steel got the Ducks on the board with a power-play marker with 6:29 left in regulation to ruin Braden Holtby's shutout bid with his first goal of the season. Then with under two minutes left in regulation, Nicolas Deslauriers tallied his first goal as a Duck to trim the deficit to 4-2. But it was too little too late for the Ducks, who fell to 10-10-2 two nights after opening this four-game road trip with a win in St. Louis.
Video: ANA@WSH: Steel tallies power-play goal on open net
Video: ANA@WSH: Deslauriers sneaks puck into the net
"It's always good to get one, but a win always feels a lot better," said Steel. "Tough one tonight, but we'll get ready and get back at it."
The Capitals improved their league-best record to 16-3-4 record (36 points) and gave them 13 wins in their past 16 games (13-1-2).
John Gibson surrendered four goals on 30 shots in the loss.
The Ducks found themselves trailing from the get-go after Richard Panik opened the scoring just 50 seconds into the game. Then, Alex Ovechkin doubled the Caps' lead with a vintage power-play strike from his office - also known as the left faceoff dot - at the 6:39 mark of the middle frame.
Chandler Stephenson made it 3-0 in the closing seconds of the second period when all the focus was on the chaos behind the net. (Garnet Hathaway was given a match penalty for spitting on Ducks defenseman Erik Gudbranson). Jakub Vrana gave the Caps a four-goal lead when he pounced on a Ducks turnover and scored his 10th goal of the season early in the third.
Tom Wilson scored his ninth goal of the season into an empty net with 1:11 remaining on the clock to make it 5-2.
The Ducks won't play again until Thursday against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center.