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Ducks going for 12th straight win against Capitals

Big test for Anaheim against League-leading Capitals

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

CAPITALS (48-13-4) at DUCKS (37-19-8)


ANAHEIM - Bruce Boudreau and the Anaheim Ducks will go for a 12th straight win against a team he knows well but has had had trouble against in recent years.

The Washington Capitals, the team that gave Boudreau his first NHL head coaching job, swept the Ducks in two games last season and have won three of the past four.

"This is a new animal all together," Boudreau said. "Looking at every game they play, if they don't start out good, they just improve in the second and third and they come out and win in the second and third. It's got to be a 60-minute game for us. They're four lines deep, probably deeper than any team we've seen. It's 16 deep with a great goaltender."

Boudreau, who coached Washington from 2007-11, is still familiar with many aspects of the Capitals' game. He coached many of the same players and they still run a similar power play.

Washington and Anaheim are each converting on 23.8 percent of chances, tied for second in the NHL.

"They've done the same thing for seven or eight years now," Boudreau said. "They get into their 1-3-1 with the same guys on it. A different player on it is the guy at the high point, whether it's [John] Carlsson, [Mike] Green, {Matt] Niskanen or whatever, they can all play equally as well. They know exactly where to go, they read each other's thoughts really well. They've been No. 1 in the league for as long as I can remember."

The League-leading Capitals were the first team to 100 points and have the second-best record since the Christmas break (23-7-2) trailing only the Ducks (25-4-2).

Anaheim's win streak, the longest in club history, has been bolstered by the power play. The Ducks have scored a goal in each of the past 11 games with the man-advantage (19-for-43).

Washington's past 10 games have been decided by one goal (7-3-0).

"I've always said that you've got to be comfortable playing in games that might feel a little uncomfortable," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "That's playoff hockey. I'd rather have a real hard game that's tight like that than lose 6-0. It pushes players to be better and forces us to keep our game sharp."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Marcus Johansson - Tom Wilson

Daniel Winnik - Mike Richards - Jay Beagle

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - Dmitry Orlov

Mike Weber - Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Michael Latta (illness), John Carlson (lower-body)

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Stanislav Galiev


David Perron - Ryan Getzlaf - Nick Ritchie

Jamie McGinn - Rickard Rakell - Corey Perry

Andrew Cogliano - Ryan Kesler - Jakob Silfverberg

Ryan Garbutt - Nate Thompson - Mike Santorelli

Cam Fowler - Kevin Bieksa

Hampus Lindholm - Josh Manson

Simon Despres - Sami Vatanen

John Gibson

Frederik Andersen

Injured: Chris Stewart (jaw), Brandon Pirri (ankle)

Scratched: Clayton Stoner, Korbinian Holzer

Status Report: Anaheim reassigned forward Chris Wagner to San Diego of the American Hockey League following the game on Saturday. … Schmidt skated with Weber on the third defensive pairing during the morning skate, replacing Chorney. ... Fowler was on the ice and will play, despite injuring his nose Saturday after taking a high stick late in the game. … Gibson was the first goalie off the ice for Anaheim. He has played the Capitals once in his career and lost. … Holtby was the first goalie off the ice for Washington.

Who's Hot: Ovechkin has nine goals and 10 assists in 11 games against Anaheim. His linemate Backstrom has seven assists over the past six games. … Williams has 24 points and a plus-3 rating in 35 games against Anaheim. … Gibson was won his past four decisions. … Perry has five goals and two assists over his past four games… Getzlaf has points in 19 of the past 23 games. His linemate Perron has points in four of the past five games. … Manson played a career high 24:53 on Saturday. The rookie leads all Anaheim defensemen with plus-10 rating.

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