Capitals Shut Down Coyotes, 2-0, Finish Season-Long Road Trip 3-1-1

Photo: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals edged the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 2-0 at Gila River Arena on Friday night to finish their season-long road trip with a 3-1-1 record.

The win lifted the Capitals into a tie with the Pittsburgh Penguins (with each team down to four games left in the regular-season) for third place in the Metropolitan Division and Boston Bruins (who have a game in hand) for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 19 saves in the victory.

Capitals’ Lines at Coyotes

Graphic: @Capitals

The Capitals did not make any line changes up front or on defense from their 4-3 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday.

Coyotes right-wing Phil Kessel played in his 1200th career NHL game.

First Period

Left-wing Conor Sheary knocked in a rolling puck at the left post after center Nicklas Backstrom got a handle of defenseman Justin Schultz’s shot to open the scoring for the Capitals at 11:33. The 29-year-old’s 18 goals are tied for the second-most he has scored in a season in his career (2016-17: 23; 2017-18: 18). Schultz tallied his sixth point in his last six games (five helpers).

The Capitals led 12-6 in shots, 3-2 in blocked shots, had four giveaways while the Coyotes were credited with five, won 65% of the faceoffs, and did not score on their lone power play of the period.

The Coyotes led 10-3 in hits through one.

Each team earned two takeaways in the first.

Second Period

The Capitals led 20-11 in shots (including 8-5 in the middle frame), 6-4 in blocked shots, had five giveaways while the Coyotes tallied 12, won 52% of the draws, and were held off of two power plays through 40 minutes.

The Coyotes led 25-5 in hits and 6-2 in takeaways in the first two periods.

Third Period

Defenseman John Carlson let one go into the empty net to make it 2-0 after getting the puck off of a board battle in the defensive zone with 35.2 seconds left.

The Capitals led 29-19 in shots (including 9-8 in the third), 12-9 in blocked shots, had nine giveaways while the Coyotes tallied 18, won 53% of the draws, and were held off of four power plays.

The Coyotes led 32-14 in hits and 10-3 in takeaways.

Next game: Sunday vs. Toronto Maple Leafs (7 PM ET, ESPN+/Hulu)

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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2 Responses to Capitals Shut Down Coyotes, 2-0, Finish Season-Long Road Trip 3-1-1

  1. Anonymous says:

    Sometimes I think if you put Vanecek’s brain into Samsonov’s body you’d have a really solid goaltender. Vanecek displays solid IQ, but his physical limitations are apparent especially when he gets exploited on rebounds. Samsonov’s athleticism allows him to do things Vanecek just can’t, but he’s prone to mental lapses and allowing easy goals. Not to say Vanecek doesn’t suffer from that either, but he seems to have it more together. He played well tonight, but there’s still no clear cut answer.

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