WASHINGTON -- One night after their regular season was supposed to end, the Anaheim Ducks had to travel cross country to make up a game against the Washington Capitals.
It was definitely worth the trip.
Corey Perry and Nick Ritchie scored second-period goals, Frederik Andersen stopped 24 shots, and the Ducks defeated the Capitals 2-0 Sunday night to capture the Pacific Division championship.
The Ducks (46-25-11) earned their fourth consecutive division title, slipping ahead of the Los Angeles Kings by one point after winning the NHL's final regular-season game. The contest was originally slated for Jan. 22 before being postponed due to a severe snowstorm.
"With what we've gone through this year, and the ups and downs that we've had, this one has a little more meaning to me," Anaheim defenseman Cam Fowler said. "Extremely proud of our group, the way we continued to fight and management (for) sticking with us and not making any major changes."
Anaheim will face the Nashville Predators on Friday in the opener of a first-round playoff series.
The Ducks earned points in eight of their last 10 games, going 6-2-2 in that span, to pass the Kings. Since Dec. 26, Anaheim is 34-10-5, the best record in the NHL during that period.
"Something clicked at Christmas, and everybody came back to play, and ever since then, it's been the team we thought it could be," Perry said.
Andersen, back after missing five games with a concussion, picked up his third shutout of the season. Ducks goaltenders finished with the league's lowest goals-against average (2.29) to earn the William M. Jennings Trophy.
"Freddie was tremendous," Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "That could have been as good as I've ever seen him."
Washington (56-18-8) is the No. 1 overall seed and will have home-ice advantage throughout its stay in the playoffs. The Capitals begin postseason play against the Metropolitan Division rival Philadelphia Flyers starting on Thursday.
"I think the matchup's pretty good," Washington defenseman Karl Alzner said of the Flyers. "They've got some really good depth, they're a good defensive team and they've got some game-breakers."
Washington goalie Braden Holtby, who tied Martin Brodeur's NHL single-season mark with his 48th win Saturday in a 5-1 victory in St. Louis, also sat out the second game of back-to-back contests.
Backup goalie Philipp Grubauer stopped 19 shots for Washington, which dropped four its last five games (1-2-2).
"I feel fine," Trotz said about his team as it enters the playoffs. "I feel that we're geared up. I saw it last night. I saw where we were."
After a scoreless first period, the Ducks took command in bang-bang fashion early in the second period.
First, Perry scored his 34th goal of the season when he capped a pretty give-and-go with Ryan Garbutt with a wraparound goal on Grubauer at 4:34.
Just 2:02 later, Mike Santorelli sent a puck on net from a tough angle in the right circle, and Ritchie deflected it past Grubauer for his second goal of the season.
From there, Anaheim's defensive play sealed the win.
"When we weren't scoring this year, what kept us in it was our defense, and that's something we were able to hang our hat on and that's what wins you playoff games," Fowler said.
NOTES: Washington RW Justin Williams played his 1,000th NHL game and was honored during a pregame ceremony. ... Capitals RW Jay Beagle, who sustained a lower-body injury Saturday night, did not play Sunday. He is day-to-day. Washington recalled F Zach Sill from Hershey of the AHL, and he was in the lineup. ... In addition to LW Alex Ovechkin and C Nicklas Backstrom, the Capitals rested D Brooks Orpik and D John Carlson. ... Anaheim G John Gibson (lower body) and C Ryan Kesler (lower body) did not travel to Washington. ... LW Brandon Pirri (upper body), D Kevin Bieksa (upper body), C Rickard Rakell (appendectomy) and D Sami Vatanen (flu) were also among the Anaheim scratches. ... Washington became the first team since the 1976-77 Montreal Canadians to go through the regular season without consecutive regulation losses.