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Ducks clip Caps in Boudreau's return to DC
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Hampus Lindholm's tally late in the third period sent Anaheim to a 3-2 victory over the Capitals in Bruce Boudreau's return to Washington.
Boudreau had served as Caps head coach from November of 2007 through November of 2011, and was named to Anaheim's post only two days after being dumped. Due to limited inter-conference play and last year's lockout, he had yet to set foot in America's capital since.
Saku Koivu and Andrew Cogliano registered a goal and assist each for the Ducks, who won all four contests on their completed road trip and extended their franchise-best streak to nine consecutive triumphs.
Jonas Hiller needed to make just 17 stops to run his record to 16-4-4.
"We're just trying to stay the course and play our game," Hiller said of the team's success. "I think that's the strength right now and it's great that it worked out again tonight."
Mikhail Grabovski and Nicklas Backstrom provided the offense for the Capitals, losers in four of their last six outings.
"They were aggressive. They were blocking a lot of shots, too," Backstrom said of the Ducks. "If you can't get shots through, you need to get the puck deep again and cycle them through, so that's something that maybe we need to work a little bit more on."
Philipp Grubauer stopped 26 pucks in defeat.
The Ducks went up by a 3-2 count with 5:36 remaining, when Lindholm moved up from the point and slipped a shot through traffic from below the circles.
As the clock ticked down to three minutes left, Alex Ovechkin ripped a shot off the crossbar which bounced on the goal line before kicking back into the slot. Play continued for nearly a minute before a stoppage brought on a review, and the no-goal call on the ice was upheld.
Grubauer was sent to the bench with 1:06 to go, but the hosts had nothing more in the tank.
Washington took a 1-0 lead when a give-and-go pass between Troy Brouwer and Grabovski deflected off the stick of an Anaheim defender and past Hiller with 7:21 played. Grabovski was credited with the score, his 11th of the season.
It was 2-0 just 11 seconds into a Caps advantage, when Backstrom rang a shot off the near post and in from the right circle at 11:37.
Anaheim got one back with 2:45 before intermission on Cogliano's backhander from a sharp angle to the left of the Washington net, and waited until 27 seconds remained before the second-period buzzer to even the score on Koivu's tally from the right side.
Anaheim has taken four of its last six contests in Washington since October of 2003, and improved to 8-5-1 all-time in America's capital ... The Ducks are off until this coming Saturday, with a home game against Phoenix, while the Capitals rest until Friday, when they host the Rangers.
12/23 23:17:14 ET