Revenge in the Desert (Capitals-Coyotes recap)

Ross D. Franklin/AP

Turnabout was more than just fair play for the Arizona Coyotes in their matchup against the league’s best team.

In a span of five minutes and 44 seconds of the first period, the Coyotes scored three goals on their way to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals, snapping Washington’s six-game winning streak. Rookie Christian Dvorak scored the first goal of the game at 7:26 and had two goals on the night, while Louis Domingue recorded 45 saves to repel a Capitals surge in the final 40 minutes.

Just six days prior, Arizona was outclasses 4-1 by the Capitals, with Washington scoring three third-period goals to put the game away. Tonight, Arizona, one of the youngest teams in the NHL, wasted no time jumping on the President’s Trophy frontrunners as they were much more comfortable on home ice while getting a second crack at Washington.

“The first time you play against [Alexander] Ovechkin, [Nicklas] Backstrom, name ’em, they’re all there,” said Domingue, the third-year goaltender who has now won five of his last six starts. “We have a lot of young guys who never played in Washington and never played the Capitals and they see all those guys and it can put you on your heels. Especially on the road. Tonight, we came out right from the get-go, we rolled all four lines the way we should have, everybody’s contributing and that’s what you need to win games.”

Even after the Coyotes built a 3-0 first period lead, the Capitals, who briefly pulled goaltender Braden Holtby, made it a game after an early power play goal by Backstrom and a Daniel Winnik goal midway through the second cut Arizona’s lead to one. Again, Dvorak was there to stop any momentum, scoring an unassisted power play goal just two minutes after the Caps’ second goal to give the Coyotes a 4-2 lead. Alexander Burmistrov added his second of the game on the power play with 2:08 left in the second to build a three-goal lead once again.

The score looks lopsided, but the Capitals put on a furious charge in the final 40 minutes, outshooting the Coyotes 38-10 from the second period on. Domingue, who earned third star of the game, made 45 saves in the contest, outperforming the likely Vezina Trophy winner in Holtby, who allowed six goals on just 25 shots faced.

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