Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images
No game is an easy game in the National Hockey League. Whether your team is facing the best team in the league or a two win team fifteen games into the season, every game is a battle. The Capitals 3-2 win vs the worst team in the NHL proved that.
The Arizona Coyotes are definitely better than there 2-12-2 record shows, and they gave the Capitals a pretty good game on Monday night. The Coyotes jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but Washington was able to tie the game and eventually get the winner in overtime, thanks to John Carlson (and a couple of nice plays by T.J. Oshie).
The Capitals were pretty dominant early. As you can see in the chart above, they were nearly +20 in shot attempts more than halfway through the opening period. The domination really didn’t last though, as Arizona did a nice job making a game of it, as the game went along. The Caps pulled away towards the end of the game and the shot attempts while 5v5 ended 47-37 Caps.
The power play made this game look a lot more lopsided. Total shot attempts for the game ended 75-49 in favor of Washington, but you can thank the six power plays the Caps got compared to the Coyotes three.
Again, in all situations, this game looked worse than it was. The Capitals expected goals was way above Arizona’s expected goals. BUT, if we were to take all situations and turn that into just 5v5, Arizona had a better night. The final number there was Arizona 1.37 to Washington’s 1.25.
While 5v5 The Coyotes had 7 high danger attempts and the Capitals had only 5. Scoring chances while 5v5 ended 22-18 in favor of Washington.
Not a lot of players stood out against the Coyotes. Jakub Vrana, who tops this list, was one of the few who looked good all night. You can see his Corsi above. He also had a good night in scoring chances. There were 11 chances for when he was on the ice and 4 against.
T.J. Oshie was probably another guy you could point out. He had a nice night in possession and was also 69.23 in scoring chances for% having 9 chances for and 4 against with him on the ice.
A really good night on faceoffs – the Capitals worst center was 56%. Unfortunately, even when he has a good night, it’s still Kuznetsov bringing up the rear. The only negatives for the Capitals at the dot vs Arizona? they were just 4 of 9 when on the power play and they failed to win a faceoff in OT going 0 for 3.
Other faceoff takers:
T.J. Oshie: 2 of 4
Alex Chiasson: 0 of 4
O’Brien, Smith-Pelly & Carlson: 0 of 1
Braden Holtby was alright against the Coyotes. He was scored on his first two shots he faced, but was perfect after that, ending up with 24 saves. Still, he didn’t have to make that many tough saves.
Special teams were again, alright. When you get six power plays on home ice you would hope it looks more dangerous than it did for most of the game Monday night and no doubt wish it would get more than just one goal.
The penalty kill was perfect though, killing off all three Coyotes power plays.
It wasn’t a great game but you can never complain about a win. It was 2-0 early and maybe they could have crumbled after that but they came back and played pretty well for the remainder of the game. An OK game, not a great game.
Move onto Buffalo on Tuesday night, we’ll see you then.
By CJ Witt