(SportsNetwork.com) – Alex Ovechkin finally found the scoresheet, but it
wasn’t enough to get Washington a victory.
Ovechkin and the Capitals hope to avoid a fourth straight loss on Sunday
evening as they play host to the offensively-struggling Arizona Coyotes.
Ovechkin carried a career-worst five-game point drought into Saturday’s
contest with the Tampa Bay Lightning, but managed an assist in the 4-3 loss.
He has five goals and seven points on the season.
Marcus Johansson, Eric Fehr and Troy Brouwer did manage to score for
Washington, but Tampa Bay went ahead for good on a goal just 2:27 into the
Braden Holtby made 24 saves in defeat, the Capitals’ fourth in five games.
“Last couple of games we’ve played good hockey and haven’t gotten the
results,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom said. “You have to battle through
it and we have a new game tomorrow. Sometimes that’s hockey, it’s important
that we stick together as a group.”
Arizona arrives having lost the first three of a four-game road trip,
outscored 12-4 over that span. The Coyotes were shut out for the second time
this season last night, falling 3-0 to the previously-winless Carolina
Mike Smith allowed all three goals on 35 shots for the Coyotes, who are 0-4-1
on the road this season and have been held to a pair of goals or fewer in six
of their first 10 games.
“We got behind early,” said Arizona head coach Dave Tippett. “We made a couple
mistakes and got behind, so we chased the game. That’s happened too many times
to us this year. We were taking chances, but we couldn’t capitalize on them.
We couldn’t get ourselves back in the game.”
Arizona has gotten just a goal each from Shane Doan and Antoine Vermette this
season, while offseason acquisition Sam Gagner has yet to score a goal.
Gagner will try to light the lamp tonight against the Capitals, who split two
meetings last season with the Coyotes but have won three straight in this
series at home.