A late third period goal by Andre Burakovsky gave the Capitals their first lead of the game and stood as the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes. The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Caps and gave them their first regulation win in Arizona since January 16, 2006.
Here are four reasons why they won:
A missed penalty shot
Already down 1-0, Washington nearly saw themselves go down 2-0 thanks to a bizarre sequence that resulted in a penalty shot for the Coyotes.
John Carlson’s stick was swept out of his hand by Derek Stepan and hit off the boards into the defensive zone. With Richard Panik skating in, Brett Connolly tried to hit the loose stick out of the way, but he hit it right to Panik resulting in a penalty. According to rule 53.6 of the NHL Rulebook, “When any member of the defending team, including the Coach or any non-playing person, throws or shoots any part of a stick or any other object or piece of equipment at the puck or puck carrier in his defending zone, the Referee or Linesman shall allo the play to be completed and if a goal is not scored, a penalty shot shall be awarded to the non-offending team.”
As a result, Arizona was awarded a penalty shot with a chance to take a 2-0 lead. Panik, however, shot the puck wide of the net and the Caps dodged a major bullet.
Jakub Vrana strikes again
Vrana got the Caps on the board in the second period with this third goal in two games. A puck battle behind the net bounced out to the slot where Vrana quickly wristed it to the net to tie the game at 1.
A goal for the birthday boy
Matt Niskanen enjoyed his 32nd birthday on Thursday. How did he celebrate? By scoring his fourth goal of the season.
Niskanen fired a shot from the top of the circle that looked relatively harmless except for some great physical play by Dmitrij Jaskin who muscled Jakob Chychrun into the crease and right into the path of the puck. The puck hit off Chychrun and into the net for the goal and the birthday present.
Redemption for Andre Burakovsky
Arizona scored on its first shot of the game thanks to a Burakovsky turnover.
Burakovsky was trailing the play in the defensive zone and took a pass from Jonas Siegenthaler. Feeling the pressure, Burakovsky elected not to hit the puck off the boards and instead tried a backhand pass in the middle of the defensive zone. The bad pass was taken by Derek Stepan who set up Christian Fischer for the goal.
Burakovsky got redemption in the third period, however, as he scored the game-winning goal. He streaked into the offensive zone with the puck and fired the shot from the top of the circle that beat Adin Hill to put Washington up 3-2. It was a lead the team would not relinquish.
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