Darcy Kuemper gets 31st career shutout as Capitals blank Ducks

Darcy Kuemper made 24 saves for the Washington Capitals in a 2-0 win against the visiting Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday night.

Kuemper had nine saves in the final 9:17 to record his first shutout of the season and the 31st of his NHL career, which moves him into sole possession of eighth place among active NHL goalies.

Ethan Bear and Tom Wilson scored for the Capitals, who have won two of their past three.

John Gibson started for the second consecutive day after making 29 saves in a 5-4 overtime win at the Florida Panthers on Monday afternoon. He made 26 saves against the Capitals, but the Ducks lost for the third time in four games and were shut out for the fifth time this season.

Bear gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead with 38 seconds left in the first period while both teams were skating four-on-four.

Ducks forward Ryan Strome and Washington forward Anthony Mantha were in the penalty box for matching slashing penalties when Bear passed the puck to Nick Jensen just inside the Anaheim blue line. Jensen skated into the right circle before firing a wrist shot.

The puck hit T.J. Oshie’s skate as he battled for position in front of the net, and the rebound came out diagonally to Bear at the inside edge of the left circle. Bear had time to stop the puck with his backhand and scored with a forehand for his first goal since Jan. 15, 2023, when he played for the Vancouver Canucks.

The Ducks pulled Gibson for an extra attacker with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the third, and Wilson scored into an empty net to make it 2-0 with 58 seconds to go.

Washington played without forward Alex Ovechkin, the team’s leading point scorer on the season (27), who missed his third straight game with a lower-body injury.

Washington defenseman Alexander Alexeyev was in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the previous 24 games. He had a blocked shot in 16:51 in his first game since Nov. 24.