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Capitals vs. Coyotes Recap: Despair in the Desert as Caps lose, 6-3

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Things started poorly for the Caps on Friday night and got worse as the Coyotes avenged their loss in DC last week.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Arizona Coyotes Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It was an ugly night from start to finish as the Caps fell behind, pulled their goalie, put their goalie back in, mounted a brief comeback, fell behind again, and dropped a decision to a team well below their weight class.

Here is Friday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: It only counts as one loss. OK, other than that, the power play recorded another goal.

Minus: Pretty much everything from the first puck drop to the final horn. There was precious little to take away from this game as anything to build on.

Ten more notes on the game...

  • The first period was nightmare inducing. Arizona scored as many goals in 5:46 – three – as they managed in their last 236:40 coming into this game.
  • The top line had two shot attempts in the first period (Alex Ovechkin with a shot on goal and Nicklas Backstrom with a missed shot). The second line also had two shot attempts in the first period (Justin Williams with a shot on goal, Evgeny Kuznetsov with a missed shot). The third line had three shot att…well, you get the point.
  • But even with the sparse shot attempts in the first period, every Capital skater finished the game with at least one shot on goal.
  • Braden Holtby’s first period ended allowing three goals on 15 shots in 13:12. Philipp Grubauer came on in relief and did not face another Coyote shot in the last 6:48 of the first period. Holtby returned to start the second period and finished the game allowing six goals, tying a career high.
  • Nicklas Backstrom’s power play goal early in the second period made it six power play goals on eight chances in eight periods of hockey for the Caps. This was the fourth straight game in which the Caps recorded a power play goal, sixth in the last seven contests, and ninth in 11 games.
  • When Daniel Winnik scored in the second period, it was his first goal since he had a pair against this same team in Washington six days ago. He led the team with six shots on goal.
  • The Caps allowed as many power play goals in this game (two) as they had in their previous eight games. It was the first time they allowed more than one power play goal since March 11th, when the Los Angeles Kings scored a pair of power play goals in a 4-2 win over the Caps. The teams combined to convert all of their power play chances, the Caps going 1-for-1 and Arizona going 2-for-2 (scoring on both of their power play shots on goal).
  • To add injury to insult, mid-way through the third period Tom Wilson took a shot off the side of his knee and had to be helped off the ice. He did return, though.
  • The six goals allowed by the Caps were the most allowed in any game since that wild 8-7 overtime loss to Pittsburgh back on January 16th. It made it 13 goals allowed by the Caps in their last three games.
  • Marcus Johansson had two assists to give him three straight multi-point games and points in his last five games (1-9-10).

And now, this...

Game highlights: