Series (Game 1 of 1)

Washington leads 1-0

Game 1: Wednesday, January 27th

Ducks 1

(24-23-7, 55 pts)

Capitals 5

(35-12-6, 76 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, January 27, 2010

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
ANA 0 1 01
WSH 1 0 45

A. Semin (Capitals - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

A. Ovechkin (Capitals - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

S. Morrisonn (Capitals - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

Ducks-Capitals Preview


Few teams have been able to keep pace with the high-powered Washington Capitals.

Based on Anaheim's recent road struggles, it doesn't appear the Ducks will be up to the challenge, either.

The Eastern Conference-leading Capitals look to continue their scoring barrage and win eight straight games for the first time in more than 20 years Wednesday night when they host Anaheim.

Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet for the first time in 10 games Tuesday night, but that didn't slow down Washington (34-12-6), as the Southeast Division leaders defeated the New York Islanders 7-2. Alexander Semin had two unassisted goals and five other Capitals had multipoint games, as Washington led 4-1 after the first period and kept the pressure on the Islanders.

"When we get (ahead) here, this team doesn't let up," said Jason Chimera, who had a goal and an assist. "We just kind of keep on scoring goals and it makes it tough for teams to get back in it."

The Capitals lead the league with 202 goals and their offense has keyed their current run. Washington has tallied 36 goals during its seven-game winning streak and scored at least four times in 10 of the past 11 contests (10-1-0).

"They are in a groove," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said of his club. "A team, whether you are a first-place team or 30th, at some point of the season things seem just seem to be working and clicking. Right now, they are clicking for us."

Washington, which hasn't won eight consecutive games since March 9-26, 1989, has opened up a five-point lead over second-place New Jersey in the East after trailing the Devils by five points prior to its winning streak.

Semin now has seven goals and 10 assists in his last nine games, while Ovechkin has seven goals and 13 assists in his last 10. Ovechkin has four goals and four assists in three career games against the Ducks (24-22-7).

Washington won 6-1 in Anaheim last season and this will be the first meeting at the Verizon Center since the Ducks' 6-1 win on Dec. 8, 2006.

The Capitals are set to open a three-game homestand and have been quite comfortable in the nation's capital lately. They've won a season-best six straight at the Verizon Center and are 11-1-0 there since Nov. 25.

The Ducks, meanwhile, are 3-8-0 on the road since Dec. 23, scoring two goals or fewer in seven of those contests.

Anaheim, three games in to a season-high six-game road trip, is coming off Tuesday's 2-1 loss in Atlanta, its second defeat in three games after winning seven of eight.

The Ducks failed to convert on their four power-play opportunities Tuesday and are 0 for 12 with the man advantage in their last three games. They had four power-play goals in their previous five contests.

"It's frustrating," Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf said. "Maybe we over-handled the puck a little bit."

Jonas Hiller was solid in net for the Ducks, stopping 32 shots, but didn't have much help. He has made 11 consecutive starts for the Ducks, going 8-3-0 with a 2.55 goals-against average, but has never faced the Capitals in his three-year career.

Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who is 0-3-1 with a 4.13 GAA in six games since Dec. 11, is 3-2-1 with a 1.69 GAA and two shutouts lifetime against Washington.

Capitals backup Michal Neuvirth will likely make his 18th career appearance in net after starter Jose Theodore left Tuesday because of a lower body injury.

Neuvirth, who stopped all 11 shots in 20 minutes Tuesday, has never faced Anaheim.