Goals from Mikhail Grabovski and Nicklas Backstrom had the Caps two goals up within 12 minutes but Andrew Cogliano pulled one back late in the first period, Saku Koivu tied the game with 27 seconds left in the second and rookie Hampus Lindholm grabbed the winner with 5:36 left in regulation to hand Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau a winning return to the Verizon Center.
A bizarre first goal of the season for Mark Pysyk earned the Buffalo Sabres a 2-1 overtime win against the Phoenix Coyotes at First Niagara Center.
Pysyk's deflected shot ended in the back of Mike Smith's jersey, with the goalie then unwittingly taking the puck across the line as he slid into the net attempting to prevent a rebound opportunity.
Mark Giordano netted with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime and Joe Colborne grabbed the only goal of the shootout as the Calgary Flames squeezed past the St Louis Blues 4-3, while the Dallas Stars saw off the Los Angeles Kings 5-2 at Staples Center.
Ryan Johansen and Jack Skille scored late in the third period as the Columbus Blue Jackets rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena, while the Edmonton Oilers snapped a six-game losing streak by defeating the Winnipeg Jets 6-2 thanks to goals from Jordan Eberle, Sam Gagner, David Perron, Jeff Petry, Taylor Hall and Nail Yakupov.
Craig Anderson made 27 saves - his second shutout of the season - as the Ottawa Senators toppled the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0, and Evgeni Nabokov picked up his 56th career shutout in the New York Islanders' 3-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Goals from Mats Zuccarello and Derek Stepan secured a 2-1 shootout win for the New York Rangers against the Toronto Maple Leafs, while Patrick Sharp's double lifted the Chicago Blackhawks to a 5-2 success over the New Jersey Devils and the Tampa Bay Lightning stretched their winning streak to five games with a 6-1 success against the Florida Panthers.
Elsewhere, the San Jose Sharks nicked a 5-4 shootout victory over the Colorado Avalanche, the Philadelphia Flyers recorded their ninth straight home win with a 4-1 triumph over the Minnesota Wild and Jarome Iginla scored twice as the Boston Bruins overcame the Nashville Predators 6-2.