- Associated Press - Friday, February 6, 2015

Evgeny Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom scored shootout goals, Philipp Grubauer stopped 23 shots in his first NHL action of the season and the Washington Capitals defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, on Friday night for their third consecutive victory.

After Alex Ovechkin, Washington’s third shooter, failed to score, Anaheim had a chance to extend the game, but Grubauer stopped Ryan Kesler. Jakob Silfverberg scored the Ducks’ lone shootout goal.

Jason Chimera had a goal and an assist in regulation for Washington, and Kuznetsov added two assists.

John Carlson gave Washington a 2-1 lead at 10:44 of the third period, but Corey Perry tied it with 6:15 left when he banked a shot from a tough angle in off Grubauer’s skate for his 23rd goal. That forced overtime for teams who had both played and won Thursday night.

Kesler had a goal and an assist for Anaheim, which had won eight of 10.

Ilya Bryzgalov had 32 saves for the Ducks, who were without captain Ryan Getzlaf, out for the second consecutive game with an unspecified lower-body injury.

Grubauer, recalled from Hershey to make the start, was scheduled to return to the AHL after the game.

Anaheim took a 1-0 lead with 1:45 left in the first period. With Ovechkin off for interference and Anaheim in the Capitals‘ zone, Washington defenseman Karl Alzner lost his stick. Forward Eric Fehr gave Alzner his, but before the Capitals could get a stoppage, Kesler wristed a high shot past Grubauer from the left circle for his 15th goal.

The Capitals tied it early in the second. As Ben Lovejoy was carrying the puck out of the Anaheim end, Troy Brouwer, who was down on the ice, swung his stick and knocked the puck away from Lovejoy just inside the blue line.

It rolled to Kuznetsov and he skated in two-on-none with Chimera, who took a pass and fired past Bryzgalov.

The Ducks goalie preserved the tie on a Washington power play late in the second, stopping Ovechkin on a point-blank attempt and making a sprawling save against Brouwer, who had taken a pass behind the defense.

Bryzgalov rebounded from his most recent start, when he was pulled with 3:53 left in the second period Jan. 29, giving up six goals in a row in a 6-3 loss at San Jose.

Grubauer, 23, has gone 16-9-4 with four shutouts and a 2.03 goals-against average for Hershey this season. His last game was a 2-0 shutout of Norfolk, an Anaheim affiliate.

Mike Green, involved in a leg-on-leg collision with Ottawa’s Chris Phillips on Thursday night, was a late scratch for Washington, allowing Cameron Schilling to play for the first time this season.

To make room for Grubauer, the Capitals re-assigned rookie forward Andre Burakovsky to Hershey earlier in the day.


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