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Phoenix Coyotes halt Washington Capitals' six-game win streak

By Craig Morgan, The Sports Xchange
Phoenix Coyotes halt Washington Capitals' six-game win streak
Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith stops a shot. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Washington Capitals coach Barry Trotz wanted at least a three-point lead over the Columbus Blue Jackets heading into Sunday's Metropolitan Division showdown with the Blue Jackets in Columbus. He'll have it, but not the way he would have scripted it.

Louis Domingue made a career-high 45 saves to win for the fourth time in five March starts, Christian Dvorak and Alex Burmistrov each had two goals and Josh Jooris and Peter Holland added goals as the Arizona Coyotes snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-3 victory on Friday night at Gila River Arena. All six Arizona goals came from centers.

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"We were junk," said Trotz, whose team trailed 3-0 after one. "It might have been our worse period since I've been here."

Asked if his team could learn something from this performance, Trotz said, "We'd have to start from scratch."

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Nicklas Backstrom, Daniel Winnik and Justin Williams scored for Washington, which saw its six-game winning streak end.

Capitals goalie Braden Holtby allowed a career-high tying six goals on 24 shots. Holtby had been 3-0-0 in three previous starts against Arizona with a 1.31 GAA and a .950 save pct.

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The Capitals lead the Blue Jackets by four points and the Pittsburgh Penguins by five for the Metro Division lead. Each team has five games remaining.

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Dvorak scored a highlight-reel goal at 7:26 of the first period to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead.

Dvorak appeared to lose the puck as he crossed the blue line on the right wing but gathered it at the top of the circle, deked around Capitals left winger Andre Burakovsky and cut toward the slot. Burakovsky tried to sweep the puck off Dvorak's stick again, but Dvorak eluded him a second time and lifted a wrist shot past Holtby's glove hand for his 13th goal of the season.

"It was a big point for us to start off good tonight," said Dvorak, whose team lost 4-1 at Washington on March 25. "I don't know if were in awe, but we just didn't show up in the first period there. But luckily we were able to jump on them in the first period here."

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Jooris widened the lead to 2-0 at 9:05 when he gathered the rebound of Alex Goligoski's shot from the point and slipped a rebound under Holtby's pads for his fourth goal of the season.

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Arizona made it 3-0 when Lawson Crouse got in on the forecheck and poked a loose puck to Shane Doan circling the net. Doan found Burmistrov in front for a tap-in and a 3-0 lead at 13:12.

"I think the hardest thing for teams right now that play against us is they don't know what to expect from us," Burmistrov said. "We're already out of the playoffs, but we're trying to show to the coaches and the management that we want to be here."

Trotz pulled Holtby in favor of Philipp Grubauer after Burmistrov's goal, but reinserted Holtby for the start of the second period.

Washington cut the lead to 3-1 on a second-period power play with Oliver Ekman-Larsson off for cross-checking. Backstrom collected the rebound of T.J. Oshie's shot at the left post and snapped a shot past Domingue's blocker for his 23rd goal of the season.

Backstrom has 16 points in his last 10 games and Washington has scored 35 power-play goals in its past 38 games.

Winnik cut the lead to 3-2 at 11:04 when Tom Wilson's shot banked off the right post and into the slot where Winnik was waiting with an open net. It was Winnik's 12th goal of the season.

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Dvorak restored a two-goal lead when Washington's Jay Beagle sent an errant back pass into the neutral zone that Dvorak intercepted for a breakaway. Dvorak beat Holtby to the glove-hand side again for his 14th goal of the season and a 4-2 lead.

Burmistrov got behind the Washington defense on a power play at 17:52 and took a feed from Max Domi to make it 5-2.

Holland intercepted a loose puck in the neutral zone and scored to give Arizona a 6-2 lead at 10:17 of the third period. Williams scored on a deflection of Matt Niskanen's shot 20 seconds later to cut the lead to 6-3.

"I thought they were just opportunistic all night," Winnik said. "They get 24 shots and six goals. It's pretty rare. It's disappointing that we were within one but then didn't have great effort on the penalty kill tonight."

NOTES: Coyotes captain Shane Doan returned to the lineup after a seven-game absence because of a lower-body injury. ... Coyotes backup G Louis Domingue started his second straight game because starter Mike Smith was feeling ill on Friday. ... LW Jamie McGinn rejoined the team after missing a game for a death in the family, but he was out of the lineup again against the Capitals. ... Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun played on Arizona's third defensive pairing on his 19th birthday. Chychrun is the third youngest player in the NHL behind Coyotes LW Clayton Keller and Winnipeg RW Patrik Laine. ... Capitals G Braden Holtby has posted at least 40 wins in three consecutive seasons. Only New Jersey's Martin Brodeur (2005-08) and San Jose's Evgeni Nabokov (2007-10) have also accomplished that feat. ... Capitals RW Tom Wilson left the game in the third period after blocking a shot with a knee.

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