Arizona Comes Back, Overcomes Capitals, 3-2; Ovechkin Breaks NHL Record For Most Goals With Single Franchise

Photo by John McCreary/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals were edged by the Arizona Coyotes by a score of 3-2 at Capital One Arena on Saturday night to fall to 5-6-2 this season. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves against his former team.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Arizona

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Conor Sheary
Sonny Milano — Dylan Strome — Marcus Johansson
Connor McMichael — Lars Eller — Anthony Mantha
Aliaksei Protas — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Dmitry Orlov — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson — Matt Irwin

Charlie Lindgren

Injured: LW Carl Hagelin (hip, missed 13th straight game, out indefinitely); RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 13th, indefinite); C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 13th, indefinite); RW Connor Brown (ACL, ninth, indefinite); RW T.J. Oshie (lower-body, fourth, indefinite); D John Carlson (lower-body, fourth, day-to-day)

Scratched: LW Joe Snively, RW Nicolas Aube-Kubel, D Lucas Johansen

Mantha bumped down a line with Milano making his Capitals debut while Protas also bumped down. Snively came out. The team claimed Aube-Kubel off of waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs before the game.

Arizona’s Lines

Clayton Keller — Travis Boyd — Lawson Crouse
Liam O’Brien — Jack McBain — Christian Fischer
Matias Maccelli — Nick Bjugstad — Dylan Guenther
Nick Ritchie — Barrett Hayton

Juuso Valimaki — J.J. Moser
Shayne Gostisbehere — Josh Brown
Patrik Nemeth — Troy Stecher
Dysin Mayo

Karel Vejmelka
Connor Ingram

Scratched: D Conor Timmins

Injured: LW Andrew Ladd (knee, 11th, indefinite); D Jakob Chychrun (wrist, 11th, week-to-week); C Nick Schmaltz (upper-body, 10th, week-to-week); RW Zack Kassian (lower-body, third, week-to-week)

First Period



Orlov left the game with a lower-body injury and did not return.

Shots: 16-10 Washington

Other notable stats: Washington did not score on two power plays while Arizona led 8-1 in blocked shots. Each team earned seven hits.

Second Period


8:55, 1-0 Washington (PPG): Ovechkin one-timed a shot over the blocker of Vejmelka from the left dot after Van Riemsdyk put the puck on a tee for him from the top.

Shots: 23-16 Washington (including 7-6 in the period)

Other notable stats: The Capitals scored once on their first three power plays and held Arizona off on two opportunities. The Capitals led 15-11 in hits but Arizona led 11-7 in blocked shots.

Third Period


3:23, 2-0 Washington: After Gostisbehere’s pass to Mayo down low bounced off of his skate and to Mantha, Mantha spun around and backhanded one blocker-side on Vejmelka.

6:33, 2-1 Washington: Brown picked up a loose puck after Kuemper stopped Gostisbehere’s point shot and went backhand to forehand with a crowd in front of Kuemper, who fell.

9:45, 2-2: Ritchie fired one bar-down from the slot glove-side after getting a cross-ice feed from Boyd.

19:25, 3-2 Arizona: After Keller deked around Gustafsson and wiggled down, he fed Ritchie in the slot and his wrister squeaked through Kuemper. The shot was poked home by Hayton.

Shots: 36-26 Washington (including 13-10 in the third)

Other notable stats: The Capitals won 56% of the draws, scored once on three power plays, and led 24-20 in hits. Arizona went 0-for-three on the power-play and led 18-12 in blocked shots.

Next game: Monday vs. Edmonton Oilers (8 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

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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31 Responses to Arizona Comes Back, Overcomes Capitals, 3-2; Ovechkin Breaks NHL Record For Most Goals With Single Franchise

  1. Lucas says:

    Whatever optimism I had after the red wings loss has completely disappeared

  2. novafyre says:

    pits beat the dogs 6-2
    boston beat them 6-3
    montreal 6-2
    Ottawa 6-2
    dallas 7-2

  3. Anonymous says:

    New coach please!

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      He’s gotta be on the hot seat now.

      • novafyre says:

        Alan is making excuses for players out when replying to Al’s comment about lack of passion. I think that Lavi’s attitude towards younger players (which is what the Dogs have in spades) kills their passion. They have the younger legs, they have the youthful enthusiasm, they have the passion to prove themselves. And Lavi keeps them chained up.

        • Ryan Krauze says:

          We had a coach that did similar all the way until he got leashed in 2018 and we finally won the cup. Whatever drama went down with reirden, trotz and caps management needs to happen again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We’ve really hit a new low. I get we have a ton of injuries, but this is just pathetic.

  5. Ryan Krauze says:

    I think the caps need to start taking some risky chances. They seem so defensively focused and worried about slowing down possession. Feels like a Lavi thing. I’m ok with a 1 3 1… but atleast play it in the neutral and not starting at the red line. Caps have not had good counter attacks from neutral zone traps since Reirden. Good hockey needs balance.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The system needs to be changed more so than the players. We need to system that will keep our D in front of our goal. To many times we have forwards covering down low or forwards not covering rotating point men down low leading to odd man chances. New GM, new HC and new system or long boring season.

    • Ryan says:

      Agree on the change. Disagree on the defense. Caps issue is scoring goals and getting really good threatening offensive chances.

  7. Diane Doyle says:

    This game was Coyote Ugly. We’ve truly reached a new nadir. Is it time to start a pool on when the Caps will next win a game?

  8. dwgie26 says:

    One thing for sure. This isn’t working. Gotta win some of these games. I’d like to see Protas back on third line, Mojo on fourth (most important line), and Johansen in for Gus (or JC74 if not ready).

  9. Anonymous says:

    1. I posit we should replace “loffs” with “yoffs”
    2. Ovechkin is -9….mcmichael is -1….hmmm?
    3. 4 game losing streak , now we face edmonton, pittsburgh, tampa, tampa, florida…..we may see a double digit losing streak
    4. forget HCPL, fire our trainers! what are they doing wrong that so many players are getting injured??
    5. time to tank

  10. Anonymous says:

    Time to tank? Isn’t that what they have been doing?

    • Anonymous says:

      no, they are “trying”, though it doesn’t look like it….i know it’s excuses, but oshie, wilson, backstrom, brown, malenstyn, carlson, hagelin, now orlov…carlson is addition by subtraction, but the rest are missed

  11. Zoltán says:

    After losing DET and ARI, I do not see any chance for playoff spot with this coaching staff. Lavi is not capable to change the mood. I hate to see this struggling, Ovi and Kusy are arguing, no room for talents, no room for youngs in this system. Two years has shown how Cap slides down the slope.
    New coach needed, with simpler defense and more creative offense. Please change something! Now!

  12. DWGie26 says:

    For those of you wanting a rebuild, this is what it looks like without all the “old veterans”. You could trade some remaining veterans that you don’t like like Mantha, Eller, Orlov, JC74, or even pending UFA’s like Hath, Sheary, Strome, but then who plays. I don’t think Lavi is the right coach for a rebuilt, but the system he runs right now isn’t the problem. The players we are icing are not finishing and giving up bad late goals when we should win. I also don’t want to trade picks for players now because it takes any draft pick 2-5 years to make it to the NHL. And 2-3 years to be productive in the NHL. That’s a long time to suck. And playing them in the NHL before they are ready doesn’t speed up their development, it slows them down.

    Losing sucks. And this is top level adversity right now the team needs to fight through. We need players to step up and finish. I’ll still be in the stands for most if not all of this weeks home games. Looking for a couple of players to step up!

    • Anonymous says:

      Disagree. System is part of the problem. Line combinations with no chemistry is another. Reliance on old slow reliable vets is another. Hershey not developing the next generation has been a problem.

      • Ryan says:

        Yes all around… Systems win cups. Its why a barely above average penguins team won back to back. Its why STL and TB completely looked revamped the years they won. The coaching systems were changed. If no one has figured it out by now… the caps also had a system change after game 2 columbus 2018 (trotz, reirden and management drama i keep going on about). The caps can absolutely win… but the system has to adapt to the team roster and the opponents style of gameplay. Hockey is such a fast sport it’s hard for most to understand the setup a team is playing. If you pay attention though you’ll see the patterns repeat.

        • dwgie26 says:

          Agree system is everything. Players need to play in it. And the 1-3-1 they are running right now is a modification with the talent are icing. So Lavi has modified to his talent. Hoping Milano will open up chances out of that setup and NAK will create some space using his body.

          • Ryan says:

            I’m not one to assume anyone’s thinking. Some coaches do play stubborn and this reeks of the trotz era , only with an older roster. Caps weren’t that fast in 2018 and they figured out how to beat 3 very fast teams to win the cup by winning the neutral zone, not in a defensive shell. My opinion is to do the same again.
            Agreed on nak and milano. I like strome and milano together need to find the 3rd… not sure its Johansson.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Goals 2 and 3 are the result of “going for it” instead of playing structured game and knowimg “what time is it”. I blame the coach. He needs the 4th line out there to at least get a point. It’s not about offence, this team needs to play full 60 min the same way and not “go for it.” Even though they are 8th in GAA, the untimely mistakes sunk them.

    • dwgie26 says:

      This system takes 60 minutes of discipline and players have struggled with that. That is on the players, not on the coach. When they play the system in all three zones, they are pretty dominant but they need to finish. And we need to have less time pinned in our zone.

      • Ryan says:

        The system is not working. They’re playing a deep 1 3 1 in the neutral when they should be playing it blue to blue for more counters. They collapse on net and the puck side attacks until possession is gained and they’re not quick to get the puck up ice. It has nothing to do with 60 minutes of play.
        This style of hockey is slow placed and is always under attack. It’s exhausting on the players and ends up with leaky goals scored. It is absolutely on the coaches.

  14. James W Lewis says:

    Caps aren’t going to make the playoffs. Check out the rest of the Metro – they’re all better than we are (and younger and faster and less interested in celebrating their captain’s records). I love the SC team and all the players that contributed, but this is now and virtually all those remaining guys are being paid way more than should be – possible exception is Wilson. It’s not their fault, they’re simply not the players they were. Injuries come with aging, right. There’s simply no money available to fix this problem, short term. I like the new goalies, losing Brown was just plain bad luck, but this is going to be a bleak winter…and maybe longer. For us long time fans – we’ve been there before.

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