The Caps came out like gangbusters against the Arizona Coyotes, taking a 3-1 lead barely 16 minutes into the game. Then they stopped playing. A combination of taking penalties (several of the iffy variety) and sluggish effort at even strength were their downfall over the last 40 minutes as Arizona scored five straight goals in periods two and three before holding on to take a 6-5 decision.
- Plus: Tom Wilson. The second-year winger took a spot on the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom on the shift just after Antoine Vermette opened the scoring for the Coyotes 7:14 into the game. Wilson scored on his first shift on that line, just 49 seconds after the Vermette goal, then added an assist on John Carlson's goal on his next shift, skating with Backstrom and Eric Fehr.
- Minus: Penalty killing. Sure, there might have been an questionable penalty here or there called on the Caps (T.J. Luxmore seemed to have his right arm in a permanent upraised position all night), but the Caps were awful against a team in the only part of the game Arizona should have been able to hurt them (the Coyotes came into the game with the league’s sixth best power play). Arizona took advantage by scoring two power play goals and had a third, for all intents and purposes, when they scored a goal one second after a penalty to Karl Alzner expired. That makes six games in seven that the Caps have allowed at least one power play goal.
And now, this…