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Capitals-Mighty Ducks Preview @NHLdotcom
Capitals-Mighty Ducks Preview

GAME: Washington Capitals (13-24-5) at Anaheim Mighty Ducks (19-16-7).

TIME: Friday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

Jonathan Hedstrom looks to build on his first career hat trick and help the Anaheim Mighty Ducks continue their recent success at Arrowhead Pond as they host the lowly Washington Capitals.

Hedstrom was plugging away on a checking line before Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle decided to promote the right wing to play with Joffrey Lupul and Todd Marchant on Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.

He responded by scoring consecutive goals 7 minutes apart in the second period - breaking open a tie game - en route to his first NHL hat trick to lead the Ducks in a 6-2 win.

The 28-year-old right wing had scored just once in his previous 11 games, and entered Monday with eight goals and five assists in 39 games.

"I was shaking when I scored the third one," said Hedstrom, who played four games with Anaheim in 2002-03 after being acquired from Toronto in 2000.

"I know I can score, but I need to shoot the puck more. I've always looked to pass first, but you need to be selfish sometimes. It was big to do it in the NHL. I wish my parents could have been here, because it's probably never going to happen again."

Andy McDonald and Ryan Getzlaf added power-play goals Monday for the Ducks, who were coming off a 2-3 road trip. Chris Kunitz also scored, Lupul had three assists, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 41 saves as Anaheim improved to 8-1-1 in its last 10 games at the Pond.

Andy McDonald scored his 14th goal to earn his career-high 30th point this season, surpassing his previous best set in 2003-04. He later added an assist for the Ducks, who will play five of their next seven games on the road.

Washington has lost a season-high six straight games, most recently a 4-1 defeat Thursday at Dallas.

"We were intimidated by their players and their speed," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "It seemed like we were in awe."

Alexander Ovechkin scored the lone goal for the Capitals, who have an NHL-worst four road wins. The 20-year-old Russian rookie notched his 27th goal of the season, 17 more than any other Washington player, and has nine goals and nine assists in his last 11 games.

This will be the lone meeting between the two teams this season. Anaheim has won six of the last eight and leads the all-time series 11-6-1-0, including a 6-2-1-0 mark at home.

STANDINGS: Capitals - 31 points, 5th place, 29 PB, Southeast Division. Mighty Ducks - 45 points, 3rd place, 15 PB, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Ovechkin, 27 goals, 25 assists, and 52 points; Brendan Witt, 107 PIM. Mighty Ducks - Teemu Selanne, 19 goals and 37 points; Scott Niedermayer, 24 assists; Todd Fedoruk, 86 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Capitals - Power play: 13.1 percent (34 for 260), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.4 percent (236 for 301), 30th. Mighty Ducks - Power play: 15.5 percent (39 for 251), 23rd. Penalty killing: 83.9 percent (234 for 279), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (11-18-5, 0 SO, 3.39 GAA); Brent Johnson (2-5-0, 0, 4.91). Mighty Ducks - Giguere (12-6-7, 0, 2.76); Ilya Bryzgalov (7-10-0, 0, 2.54).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Mighty Ducks, 1-0-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 29, 2003; Mighty Ducks, 4-2. At Washington, Sergei Fedorov scored a pair of goals and Martin Gerber made 23 saves for the Ducks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 4-13-1 on the road; Mighty Ducks - 14-6-3 at home.

Associated Press
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