Capitals drop physical battle to Ducks for 6th straight loss

Ducks right wing Troy Terry scores a goal on Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren

WASHINGTON — The Capitals addressed many areas of concern Thursday night that had plagued them throughout their five-game losing streak. They pushed pucks up toward the net, dominated the shot differential and scored on the power play. It just wasn't enough to get the win as they fell to the Anaheim Ducks 4-2 for their sixth straight regulation loss.

It was a whirlwind of a day for the Capitals, who traded Dmitry Orlov and Garnet Hathaway to the Boston Bruins just before warmups. They also saw captain Alex Ovechkin return to the lineup after missing four games due to the death of his father while Anthony Mantha landed on Injured Reserve with an upper-body injury.

That all set the stage for a chippy back-and-forth contest with the Ducks, who were trying to snap a six-game winless streak of their own. T.J. Oshie got the home team on the board first, scoring a tip-in off a shot by Erik Gustafsson to convert an early power-play opportunity.

Things then happened quickly in the second. The Capitals and Ducks combined for three goals and two fights across just 7:32 of game time. After Ducks center Isac Lundestrom and Nick Jensen traded tallies, a shot glanced off the glove of Charlie Lindgren, bounced off the crossbar and landed right in the middle of the crease before a swarm of bodies pushed it across.

Replay review upheld the goal, much to the chagrin of the Capitals and the crowd. On the following shift, Tom Wilson and defenseman Simon Benoit started swinging before Wilson took him to the ice. A few minutes later, it was Dylan McIlrath and center Sam Carrick dropping the gloves. McIlrath won that bout in decisive fashion.


The Capitals appeared to carry their momentum into the third by outshooting the Ducks 16-5 in the period — pushing the game total to 43-21. However, Anaheim goaltender John Gibson stopped every shot he faced and right wing Jakob Silfverberg scored on the other end for the game-winner. An empty netter by center Derek Grant iced the game for the Ducks.

With the loss, the Capitals fell to 28-26-6 including 7-13-1 so far in the 2023 calendar year. They will hold a practice Friday before jumping into a back-to-back against the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres this weekend.