clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Capitals vs. Coyotes Recap: Caps Offense Dry as the Desert in 3-0 Loss to Coyotes

The Washington Capitals ended the far-west portion of their regular season with a contest against the Arizona Coyotes. It did not end well.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Ice Tracker - Game Summary - Event Summary - Shot Report - Faceoff Summary - Play-by-Play - Home TOI - Visitor TOI - Advanced Stats at: war-on-ice, hockeystats, Natural Stat Trick and more via Nice Time On Ice

The Caps played a fine road game for 40 minutes, but a pair of goals 27 seconds apart as part of a three-goal third period spoiled what was a game the Caps were dominating in possession.

Here's Saturday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Method. Well, for two periods, anyway. Until that lighting followed by thunder for the Coyotes in the third period, the Caps dominated possession. More often than not, that will pay dividends.
  • Minus: Posts. The Caps rang iron five times without a goal against Colorado on Friday without any finding the back of the net, and they hit iron twice in the third period without getting the lucky bounce in this contest.

Ten more notes on the game:

  • "Drowsy" might have characterized the first few minutes for the Caps as Coyotes recorded eight of the first ten shot attempts of the game and won four of the first five faceoffs, but the Caps closed with a rush in the first period, out-attempting the Coyotes, 21-7 (despite a late Arizona power play) and winning seven of the last ten draws against the league’s best faceoff team.
  • A fine split save by Philipp Grubauer on Tobias Rieder on an Arizona power play late in the first period to keep the game scoreless was the sort of "never quit on a play" one likes to see from a goaltender.
  • Nate Schmidt recorded his second career fight in the NHL and second this season when he threw punches with the Coyotes’ Max Domi. He faced off with Tampa Bay’s J.T. Brown last December.
  • Corsi is once more the Caps’ friend. They came into this game at better than 50 percent at 5-on-5 in five straight games. They made it six by out-attempting the Coyotes, 62-46 (57.4 percent).
  • The Caps came into this contest with a plus-33 goal differential in the third periods of games. Going minus-3 is highly unusual in that context, and might be chalked up to the second half of a back-to-back on a western trip, the previous game having been played at altitude.
  • For two periods, this was a statement game for Philipp Grubauer in goal. After allowing four goals in each of his last two starts, he was sharp when he had to be and acrobatic when circumstances required it. But three goals on 11 shots in the third period was a a blemish on that performance, even if perhaps only the third goal was one he should have had.
  • Andre Burakovsky recorded seven shots on goal, the second-highest total of shots on goal he has this season (10 in a 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on February 2nd).
  • A 31-shot total is not bad, but it was more a case of who was missing. Three defensemen – John Carlson, Dmitry Orlov, and Nate Schmidt (all expected to provide some offensive presence) – did not record a shot on goal. Brooks Orpik had three shots on goal in an odd turn of events.
  • Another Capital who might have asserted himself more was Evgeny Kuznetsov, who did have five shot attempts and two of them on goal, but who seemed hesitant to pull the trigger when he had opportunities.
  • Take your small victories where you find them. The Caps ended a 13-game streak for the Coyotes in which they were 50 percent or better on faceoffs. The Caps won 23 of 45 draws (51.1 percent).

And now, this...

Game highlights: