Skip to Main Content
game recap

Ducks rally from four down to top Capitals, Miller matches Vanbiesbrouck

Tied for most wins by U.S-born goalie; Washington's streak ends at seven

by Harvey Valentine / Correspondent

Ducks storm back to stun Capitals

ANA@WSH: Ducks score five straight, stun Caps for win

Pontus Aberg scores two of the Ducks' five straight goals, including the game-winner, to rally Anaheim to a 6-5 victory and shock the Capitals

  • 01:31 •

WASHINGTON -- Ryan Miller tied John Vanbiesbrouck for the most wins by a U.S.-born goalie (374) in NHL history, and Pontus Aberg scored his second goal of the game with 5:05 remaining to help the Anaheim Ducks rally for a 6-5 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Sunday.

Ryan Getzlaf had a goal and two assists for the Ducks (14-10-5), who became the first team in NHL history to rally back from four goals and win against a defending Stanley Cup champion. Aberg added an assist. Rickard Rakell and Hampus Lindholm each had a goal and an assist. 

Miller, who made 19 saves, entered the game at 13:19 of the first period after Tom Wilson gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead. John Gibson made eight saves on 11 shots.

"It was a wild game to have it happen. It's probably the right way to do it," Miller said after Anaheim's fourth straight win. "I've had a lot of guys over the years put it on the line so I could get a win in my column, and tonight's a reflection of that kind of group effort."


[WATCH: All Ducks vs. Capitals highlights]


Chandler Stephenson, Nic Dowd and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist for Washington (15-8-3), which had won seven straight. Braden Holtby made 19 saves, and John Carlson and Dmitrij Jaskin each had two assists.

"Should have shut them down there with a 5-1 lead," Backstrom said. "They shouldn't be able to come back. They're a good team and they've got some skill on there, so that's what's going to happen when we turn pucks over and give them room on the PP."

Aberg completed the rally when he scored off a pass from Getzlaf on the rush for his second goal of the period.

"An empty net," Aberg said. "I just tried to be patient not to rush it because I didn't want to miss that one. [Holtby] put his stick up and fortunately it went in."

Aberg's shot from above the right face-off circle deflected in off the post on a power play at 7:16 of the third period to make it 5-4 and Lindholm tied it on a power-play goal at 9:01. Before those two goals, the Capitals had killed off 20 consecutive power plays.

Video: ANA@WSH: Aberg snaps a PPG off the post and in

Backstrom, who has four goals in his past two games, gave Washington the lead 41 seconds into the game when he converted a pass from Alex Ovechkin on a 2-on-1 rush.

Stephenson made it 2-0 when his pass deflected in off Ducks defenseman Jake Dotchin's skate at 6:08.

The Ducks got one back on Getzlaf's rebound goal at 9:24.

The Capitals restored a two-goal lead at 13:19 when Wilson deflected in Carlson's shot from the point, which prompted Ducks coach Randy Carlyle to pull Gibson for Miller.

Kuznetsov made it 4-1 at 4:59 of the second when he made a more around Miller and reached back and tucked the puck into the net.

Video: ANA@WSH: Kuznetsov goes around Miller for flashy goal

The Capitals took a 5-1 lead when Stephenson's centering pass deflected in off Dowd's skate at 13:30.

"Believe me, there wasn't anybody on that bench accepting where we were just because we'd had some success previously in winning three in a row," Carlyle said. "That wasn't even in their minds."

The Ducks closed the gap with two goals in less than a minute. Andrew Cogliano scored on a rebound at 14:31 and Rakell knocked in his own rebound at 15:26.

"We had a couple letdowns, the building got a little quiet and the game got away from us," Dowd said.


They said it

"After 10 [minutes] in the second [period] there, we took the game over. I don't know if they stopped playing, but we turned [it] up. I think we played well from there and the last 10 [minutes] in the third, the game is ours. Good for us." -- Ducks forward Pontus Aberg


"I think we lost a little bit of focus and our ability to have had success over the streak was playing a certain way and we stopped playing that way, and then they were able to capitalize. They're a good team. The League's too good and you give them chances, they're going to convert. It's a good lesson, but a hard lesson. -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden


Need to know

Backstrom (219) passed Mike Ridley for fourth place on the Capitals' all-time goals list. … Carlson has 11 assists in his past eight games. … The Ducks became the 19th team in NHL history to rally from four goals down on the road and win in regulation, and the first since the Colorado Avalanche defeated the Florida Panthers on March 3, 1999. … Getzlaf has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past eight games.


What's next

Ducks: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, WGN, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Tuesday (10 p.m. ET; SN, ATTSN-RM, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Aberg, Ducks rally for 6-5 win to snap Caps' streak

View More