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Ducks, Caps aim to avoid three-game skids

by Brian Compton
DUCKS (5-5-1) at CAPITALS (7-2-0)


Last 10: Anaheim 5-4-1

Season Series: This is the lone meeting between the teams. They split a pair of games in 2010-11, with the Caps taking the most recent showdown, a 7-6 decision at the Honda Center on Feb. 16.

Big Story: After opening the season with seven straight victories, the Capitals will be looking to avoid a three-game skid Tuesday night. Washington suffered its second straight loss Saturday night in a 7-4 defeat at Vancouver.

"We just have to stay out of the box," Caps defenseman Roman Hamrlik said. "Obviously, we can take the lessons from the last two games in Edmonton and Vancouver. We're just not doing the little things we're supposed to do. The coaches and staff are doing a pretty good job to prepare us before the game. We're just doing a little bit too much running out there."

Team Scope:

Ducks: Anaheim won't be the only team on the ice Tuesday night aiming to avoid a third straight loss. The Ducks suffered another setback Sunday, when they dropped a 3-1 decision at Columbus. Anaheim -- losers in five of its last six games -- has scored only one goal in its last two contests.

"We seem to be over-passing and putting the puck in a different area," Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said, "where it's less of an angle or less of an opportunity to score."

Capitals: Washington rallied to erase a 3-1 deficit in Vancouver and found itself knotted in a 4-4 tie during the second period. But a couple of bad minutes during the third allowed the Canucks to pull away as Henrik Sedin, Chris Higgins and Max Lapierre all scored in a span of 4:07.

"We knew they were going to come out hard in the third," Caps center Marcus Johansson said after Saturday's loss. "They had a couple of easy goals. That can't happen in a game like this."

Who's Hot: Teemu Selanne has 3 goals and 7 assists in Anaheim's first 11 games. … Caps center Nicklas Backstrom has 12 points (2 goals, 10 assists) in 9 games, while Alex Ovechkin is averaging a point per contest (5 goals, 4 assists).

Injury Report: Ducks forward Jason Blake isn't expected back until January due to a lacerated forearm suffered on Oct. 14. … Caps defensemen Mike Green (ankle) and John Erskine (shoulder) are day-to-day, while Jay Beagle (concussion symptoms) and Tom Poti (groin) are out.

Stat Pack: Tuesday marks the fifth of the Ducks' seven-game road trip (1-2-1). … Caps forward Alex Semin has 6 goals in three games against Anaheim.

Puck Drop: "The thing that really has to get better is our penalty killing, which was really good last year and is really not very good right now. We have to correct that . It's put us in the hole in both games that we've lost. In games that we've won, we've still allowed (power-play) goals. We shore that up, and a lot of other things take care of themselves." -- Washington coach Bruce Boudreau

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