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Capitals-Ducks Preview

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Bruce Boudreau's tenure with the Washington Capitals was marked by regular-season successes and postseason disappointments.

He's got the Anaheim Ducks playing at a championship level now, however.

In a marquee matchup with the makings of a possible Stanley Cup Final preview, the soaring Ducks look to extend their franchise-best winning streak to 12 when the NHL-leading Capitals visit Honda Center on Monday night.

While Washington (48-13-4) remains the league's most consistently successful team this season, the Ducks are unquestionably the hottest. Anaheim (37-19-8) has vaulted back atop the Pacific Division with an 18-1-1 surge.

The Ducks had struggled to a 12-15-6 start.

''I think they always believed,'' said Boudreau, who won four division titles in six seasons with Washington from 2007-11 but never advanced past the Eastern Conference semifinals. ''I mean, we haven't changed much from what we did last year. There were a couple of big meetings, and we converted our style just a little bit.''

The Ducks, aiming for a fourth straight division crown under Boudreau, moved two points ahead of Los Angeles with Saturday's 3-2 victory. They got another strong performance from Frederik Andersen and more production from a power play that's been nearly unstoppable during their tear.

David Perron and Jakob Silfverberg scored on the man advantage to snap a 1-all tie and support Andersen's 32 saves. Boudreau became the fastest in NHL history to reach 400 wins.

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''I must have had good teams,'' he said. ''I was lucky in Washington, and lucky to have a great team here.''

Boudreau's current group has converted a staggering 44.2 percent (19 of 43) of its man-advantage chances during the streak and has at least one power-play goal in each of its 14 wins since the All-Star break.

The Ducks might need to avoid trips to the box in order to keep their run going, as their one recent weakness has been penalty killing. They've posted a 76.1 percent mark during the streak, and both of the Kings' goals came on the power play.

Washington owns the league's best power play at 23.2 percent as well as its top road record at 22-7-2. It's won nine of 12 as a visitor after beginning a four-game trip with Saturday's 2-1 overtime win over Boston.

The Capitals have also won five straight in Anaheim, extending that run with a 5-3 victory Feb. 15, 2015 behind Alex Ovechkin's two goals and two assists.

However, Ovechkin - who's recorded a NHL-leading 41 goals but has one over his last five games - could be facing league discipline after being assessed a boarding major for a hit that hospitalized Bruins defenseman Kevan Miller.

''It's just a hockey play,'' he said. ''You don't want to be in position to take a penalty, but the referee said I get five minutes because I was heavier than him.''

The Capitals could have trouble scoring regardless of Ovechkin's status, as Andersen is 12-0-2 with a 1.76 goals-against average in his last 14 starts. He's posted a 1.33 GAA in winning six straight at home.

Counterpart Braden Holtby hasn't been able to duplicate his stellar first-half numbers, recording a 2.74 GAA in 14 starts following the All-Star break. The NHL wins leader, coming off a 20-save effort in Thursday's 3-2 loss to the New York Rangers, had a 2.03 GAA going into the break.