Keller scores in OT as Coyotes beat Capitals 3-2
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) This time, the Arizona Coyotes stayed calm at the end of a close game.
Clayton Keller scored 4:33 into overtime, and the Coyotes rallied to beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Friday night.
Arizona had lost seven in a row and 10 of 11. Christian Fischer tied the game with 1:01 to go in regulation, and Christian Dvorak also scored for the Coyotes.
”We had a big meeting after the last game trying to figure out why we panic and things go off the rails,” Fischer said. ”Tonight we didn’t panic. We knew if we stick with it we were going to give ourselves a chance to win.”
Max Domi set up Keller’s game-winner, skating in from the left side and deking a defender with a swooping move toward the middle. Philipp Grubauer stopped Domi’s shot, but Keller jumped on the rebound for his team-leading 13th goal.
”That’s a world-class team,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. ”They have Hall of Famers over there. We played a really responsible game and we cashed in our chances at the end.”
Keller’s goal capped an impressive overtime for the Coyotes, who dominated the possession and limited the chances for the Capitals.
”We had the puck the whole time,” Tocchet said. ”It’s a lot of discipline because when guys are out there they want to stay out there and try again and again but we had some great changes and that’s what led to that goal.”
First-place Washington had won four in a row. T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals, and Grubauer made 24 saves.
”We’ve just got to find ways to get pucks out and finish the game off,” Oshie said. ”We did a pretty good job up until that point. Sometimes you’ve got to credit them. They kept coming.”
Fischer also stepped up with his ninth goal late in regulation. With Scott Wedgewood on the bench for an extra attacker, Jason Demers fired a shot from the top of the left circle. Grubauer stopped Derek Stepan’s tip in front but the puck came to rest behind the goalie in the crease. Fischer swept in from the left and slid the puck into the net.
”Things change in a hurry and I thought they had way too many chances already,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “I look at as we had it, we just have to close it out. We weren’t where we needed to be.”
Washington led 1-0 after two lackluster periods, but Dvorak tied it 1:28 into the third. He cycled the puck to Alex Goligoski at the point before taking the return pass atop the right circle, skating to the faceoff circle and firing into the top left corner of the net.
Kuznetsov responded with his 12th of the season. Wedgewood stopped Christian Djoos’ shot from above the right circle. Kuznetsov shook off a defender, took control of the puck to the right of the net and scored behind Wedgewood, who was caught looking at the top of the crease.
Tobey Reider had a chance to tie the game on a short-handed breakaway with 9:12 to play, but was stopped easily by Grubauer in the goalie’s first start since Dec. 4.
The frantic third period was a stark contrast to the first two, when each team displayed little energy despite each not playing since Tuesday.
After a scoreless first period, Oshie put the Capitals ahead at 5:40 of the second, taking a pass from Jakub Vrana and beating Wedgewood from the low slot.
NOTES: The Coyotes are 6-0-1 in their past seven home games against the Capitals. … Washington finished with a season-low 17 shots on goal. … Oshie has six goals and 18 points in 25 career games against Arizona. … Dvorak’s goal was his third in four games against Washington. … Kuznetsov has scored his past four goals and eight of his 12 this season in the third period.
Capitals: Visit Vegas on Saturday.
Coyotes: Host Colorado on Saturday.