JUSTIN WILLIAMS HONORED FOR PLAYING 1,000TH NHL GAME
With absolutely nothing left to play for except finishing the 82-game schedule, Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz scratched Alex Ovechkin, Nick Backstrom, John Carlson, Brooks Orpik and Jay Beagle, the last of whom nursing a sore knee after blocking a shot in Saturday night’s win over St. Louis.
That left the team with some odd line combinations, with Stan Galiev, Michael Latta and emergency call-up Zach Sill manning the third line and Philipp Grubauer between the pipes.The result was a listless game with little intensity and the Caps fell to the Anaheim Ducks 2-0 before a subdued Verizon Center crowd.
The first period was a sluggish affair with the teams combining for 15 shots on goal. Both teams had an uneventful power play opportunity and Latta fought Anaheim defenseman Clayton Stoner, but the what got the crowd most fired up was the video tribute for Braden Holtby’s season record tying 48th win of the season against the Blues on Saturday.
The Ducks actually had something to play for, as in needing two points for the top seed in the West, and they played more like it in the second. Corey Perry started the scoring at 4:34, using a wrap-around to beat Grubauer for his 34th goal this season.
A few minutes later, Mike Santorelli spun away from Marcus Johansson at the left wing dot, then wristed a shot that got through traffic, and tipped by Nick Ritchie at the last, to elude Grubauer and make it 2-0.
The third period was a tepid dance to ensure no one from either side got hurt in a meaningless 20 minute exhibition.
NEXT GAME: The first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs, finally. The Caps drew Philadelphia in the first round and will host Game 1 on Thursday a 7 p.m.