WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Fortune can work in good ways and bad, and maybe there will be a day ahead when it turns against the Anaheim Ducks.
But when there is a winning streak in play, the Ducks will take whatever bounces come their way while also creating their own source of good karma.
Hampus Lindholm's third-period goal capped another comeback and the Ducks benefited from a crossbar that saved a potential tying goal from reaching the net in getting past the Washington Capitals, 3-2, on Monday night at Verizon Center.
The Ducks (27-7-5) enter a three-day Christmas holiday break atop the league standings as the NHL's hottest team extended its franchise-best win streak to nine games. They also got coach Bruce Boudreau the win he deeply cherished.
Boudreau won four consecutive Southeast Division titles as Washington's coach but never got past the second round of the playoffs, and a bad stretch in the fall of 2011 got him fired. His first game back at the arena was a triumphant one.
"In the whole scheme of things, I'm more happier that we kept the streak alive," he said. "Fifty-nine points after 39 games is a pretty cool feat for what we've gone through.
"The players deserve all the credit. It was nice in front of the crowd here. There was a lot of red out there."
And the Ducks did it by rallying from two goals down, just like Saturday against the New York Islanders. In the midst of a bustling visiting dressing room, Saku Koivu wondered if they've got something bigger at work.
"Well, I think there is something special going on," Koivu said. "There's no doubt about that."
Lindholm provided the latest heroics. Ryan Getzlaf's backhand shot was stopped by Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer, but the rebound shot out toward the center of the ice and the rookie defenseman was the first to the loose puck.
A wrist shot from distance got through and beat Grubauer with 5:36 remaining to snap a 2-2 tie.
"Getz and those guys, they went hard to the net," Lindholm said. "The puck just bounced right in the middle and I got the puck on my stick. I was trying to make a quick move (so) my forwards can get to the net.
"I just saw it went in. It was a very good feeling."
The Ducks played a strong second and third period after falling behind, 2-0, but they got the bounce of the game when Alex Ovechkin's wicked wrist shot clanked off the crossbar with just more than three minutes remaining.
The initial shot had the 18,506 in attendance on their feet and cheering even as the apparent goal was immediately waved off and play continued. Boos then rained down after referee Ghislain Hebert signaled no goal after a video review.
Replays confirmed the on-ice call as the puck shot downward off the crossbar in front of the goal line, and then bounced away.
Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller said he saw the puck's leftover mark on the crossbar and was sure it wasn't a goal, joking he touched it afterward and "gave it a little love."
"At the end, it's not on me to call," said Hiller, who made 17 saves. "But it was definitely nice to get that break. I think in the end, if you work hard, you deserve those kinds of bounces going your way.
"I think that's what we did, especially in the third."
Mikhail Grabovski and Nicklas Backstrom put the Ducks in a two-goal hole, but Andrew Cogliano finished a strong shift by the Ducks' checking line by scoring late in the first.
Koivu tied it in the final minutes of the second by converting his fifth goal of the season off a nice passing play by defenseman Ben Lovejoy.
"It's a positive thing in a way that even when we're not playing our best hockey like this trip, we're finding ways to win," Koivu said. "But at the same time, with the lineup that we have right now, I hope that we can expect better hockey from us."
Koivu pointed out his team's ability to put win streaks together such as seven straight after their season-opening dud in Colorado and an 8-0-1 stretch from Oct. 25-Nov. 10.
The Ducks have accomplished all that despite playing a league-high 24 road games and making three lengthy trips to the Eastern time zone. Their 14-7-3 mark fits comfortably beside their 13-0-2 home record.
"Nine in a row -- that's pretty cool," Boudreau said. "It was a goal of ours before we got to this game. If we could win the four games going into Christmas, we thought it would be a heck of a start, considering 24 of those games are on the road and we gutted out a couple of them. Especially the last two."
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