The Ducks headed to Washington D.C. on Tuesday as they looked to build off of an impressive overtime win over the Panthers. Things didn’t start off ideally for Anaheim, as the only score of the opening period was Ethan Bear’s first in over a year. He helped to put the Capitals ahead 1-0, and that would remain the score throughout the second period as well. With a scrappy game headed to the final period, Washington would add on once more with an empty net goal in the final moments to put a bow on a 2-0 win. For the Ducks, it was a disappointing offensive output that left them with their 5th shutout loss of the year.
Here are three takeaways from the game:
Gibson delivers solid performance despite the loss
Goalie John Gibson definitely brought forth his best effort for the Ducks despite the fact that they came up on the wrong side of things. He was able to do an excellent job defending the net for Anaheim, allowing just one goal on 27 Washington shots.
Their second score of the game came late in the third period via an empty net from the Ducks, who desperately needed a goal to even things up. Gibson’s save percentage on the day was .963, and it was unfortunate that the team could not provide him with some goal support. The Ducks have now lost 8 of their last 10, and have one more game on the road before returning back home to the Honda Center.
A slow first period for the Ducks sets the tone of the game
Though the Ducks managed to finish the game with 24 total shots, barely any of the action came in the opening period. Throughout the duration of the first, Anaheim put up a mere three shots as a slow start to the game left them playing from behind. They allowed Capitals’ goalie Darcy Kuemper to secure his first shutout performance of the season, which helped him to move on from a rough stretch in which he had gone 2-4 with an average of 4.26 goals allowed per game. Anaheim will need to make getting more aggressive a point of emphasis going forward, as the team’s 28.82 shots per game average is the 6th fewest in the NHL this season. They certainly aren’t doing Gibson any favors by putting the pressure on him to perform at a near-flawless rate to give the squad a chance to secure some victories.
The Strome brothers meet again, Fowler speaks on the loss
Brothers Ryan Strome (Ducks) and Dylan Strome (Capitals) found each other facing off in Washington D.C. for what was their 10th career battle against each other. While neither brother made a sizeable impact in the contest, Dylan and the Capitals ended up on top, giving him bragging rights at all of the family events until the next time the two are able to meet on the ice again.
After the frustrating loss, defenseman Cam Fowler shared some thoughts on the team’s slow start to the game and inability to get on the board.
He made sure to emphasize that the team will continue to fight and try to bring on some wins before the all-star break. The team will have one more stop on the road trip in San Jose, as they have a battle penciled in with the Sharks on Saturday night. The Sharks will provide Anaheim with a prime opportunity to get back in the win column as their 10-31-4 record is at the very bottom of the league. With a very winnable game on the road and then a couple of games in a row at home, it will be interesting to see how the Ducks respond.
The game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. PT.