Andre Burakovsky Strikes Late As Capitals Crunch Coyotes, 4-2, For First Regulation Win In Arizona Since 2006; Jakub Vrana Scores Third In Two Games

yotes.jpgPhoto: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals beat the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 4-2 on Thursday night at Gila River Arena to end their two-game losing streak. The win was their first in regulation at Arizona since 2006. The win snapped the team’s two-game losing streak, which followed a seven-game winning streak. Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 27 saves in the win. 

Capitals Lines at Coyotes

Forward Tom Wilson missed the game due to an upper-body injury suffered from a hit by Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves in the Capitals’ 5-3 loss to the Golden Knights on Tuesday. Forward Andre Burakovksy drew into his spot next to captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom. Center Travis Boyd stepped in for while Wilson was out for his first game in three games. Defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler stepped in for Madison Bowey and played on the third pair alongside Christian Djoos. Forward Chandler Stephenson took Burakovsky’s place on the third line.

First Period

Forward Christian Fischer sniped one from the slot after Burakovsky turned the puck over to Stepan in the defensive zone 4:48 into the game for a 1-0 Arizona lead.

Ovechkin took his 5000th shot, which sets the record for the fastest player in NHL to reach 5,000 shots, besting Marcel Dionne’s previous record (1,215) by 184 games.

The Capitals led 9-6 in hits and 3-2 in takeaways.

The Coyotes only had one giveaway while the Capitals had six. Arizona went 0-for-1 on the power-play in the first period.

Each team recorded 11 shots, seven blocked shots, and 50% on the draws in the opening 20 minutes.

Second Period

Forward Richard Panik missed the net blocker side on a penalty shot 1:16 into the period after Capitals forward Brett Connolly poked his stick away while he was trying to get it.

Capitals forward Jakub Vrana snapped it past Hill’s glove from the left circle after getting a pass from center Lars Eller from behind the net 5:27 into the period.

Forward Lawson Crouse snapped it blocker side from the left circle after defenseman Jordan Oesterle shot it from the point and the puck it Capitals defenseman Christian Djoos. The puck went right to Crouse, who buried it for a 2-1 Coyotes lead 1:32 after Vrana’s goal. Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen let it go from the left circle and the puck went off of Coyotes defenseman Jacob Chycrun and past Hill to tie the game 2-2 on his birthday. Copley recorded his first NHL assist on the goal.

The Capitals led 13-11 in blocked shots and 19-13 in hits after period No. 2.

The Coyotes led 19-18 in shots, including 9-8 in the second period, won 63% of the faceoffs, and had only seven giveaways while the Capitals had 12.

Neither team scored on the power-play; Washington had one opportunity while Arizona had two in the first 40 minutes.

Third Period

Vrana was awarded a penalty shot 16 seconds into the period after he was hooked by Coyotes defenseman Kevin Connouton on a breakaway attempt but was denied by goaltender Adin Hill after toe-dragging in front of him and trying to go above his pad.

Burakovsky ripped a shot from the right circle blocker side on Hill for his fifth goal of the season with 4:42 left in regulation.

Ovechkin sealed the victory with his 21st of the season into an empty net from the right circle in his own end. He extended his point streak to 10 games with the goal.

The Capitals led 11-10 in shots in the final stanza, 18-14 in blocked shots, and 25-18 in hits.

The Coyotes won 61% of the faceoffs, led 6-3 in takeaways, and had only 11 giveaways while the Capitals had 17.

Neither team scored on the power-play; Washington had one opportunity while Arizona had two. Each team recorded 29 shots.

The Capitals conclude their three-game road trip at Nationwide Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night. Puck drop can be found on NBC Sports Washington at 7 PM.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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