An unlikely hero got Washington off to a winning start on a four-game homestand, and the Capitals got their usual production from Alex Ovechkin.
The red-hot Ovechkin will try to add to his scoring binge Monday night while helping prolong the Arizona Coyotes' road woes.
Brooks Orpik scored his second goal of the season with 3:58 left Saturday to deliver a 4-3 comeback victory over New Jersey. The defenseman, who also assisted on T.J. Oshie's tying score with 6:05 remaining, was playing in his third game for the Capitals (43-10-4) since a three-month absence due to a lower-body injury.
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“Obviously the team's been going pretty well all year,” said Orpik, who registered his first career game-winning goal in the regular season. “I've been watching a lot of it so, it's a lot more fun being a contributor here the last three games.”
Ovechkin scored his ninth goal in seven games in Washington's fourth consecutive home win and eighth in nine overall contests. He also has 24 of his 38 goals in his last 26 games.
Arizona (27-25-6) has found the net frequently of late as well, tallying 16 goals in its last three games. Rookie forward Max Domi has scored four times in the past two contests, but the Coyotes lost 6-4 to St. Louis on Saturday.
Arizona is beginning a five-game trip and will play nine of 11 away from home. With the trade deadline nearing, the Coyotes' performance over this stretch could play a part in determining what course they take.
“Great test for us,” coach Dave Tippett said. “We're going to have to play hard, stingy road hockey, and we expect to get points.”
Arizona will first try to carry over its high-scoring performances on the road, where it's been beaten by a combined 14-5 in three consecutive losses. The Coyotes have also totaled eight goals in their past five contests away from home.
Arizona's power play is 1 for 16 in its last four road games but 10 for 32 in its past eight overall.
The Coyotes are hoping to have leading scorer Oliver Ekman-Larsson available. The defenseman, who has a career-high 45 points, suffered a lower-body injury just 42 seconds into Saturday's loss.
“He's day to day. He'll come on the trip with us. Hopefully, it's not too serious,” Tippett said. “He might play on Monday. We'll see.”
The Coyotes haven't faced Washington since November 2014, splitting two meetings last season. Their 6-5 victory Nov. 2, 2014, ended a three-game skid in D.C.
Arizona captain Shane Doan, who had three points in that game, has four goals and one assist in his last four matchups. Antoine Vermette has five goals and seven assists in his past 10 meetings.
Ovechkin has four goals and eight assists in 10 career games against Arizona. He had a goal and three assists in the most recent home matchup.
The Capitals play six of their next seven at home, where they are 16-1-1 since Nov. 21.