Coyotes continue difficult road trip vs. Capitals
WASHINGTON -- The road doesn't get any easier Sunday for the Arizona Coyotes.
Arizona (7-7-1) has lost three straight games after a five-game winning streak.
The Penguins broke a scoreless tie with three second-period goals, including one by Sidney Crosby, who later added an assist.
"I had a good start and then they scored three in the second there," Coyotes goalie Darcy Kuemper told NHL.com. "That was kind of too big of a hole to come back. I don't think anyone's happy, for sure. But we just have to make sure we're not getting overly frustrated. Kind of use it as motivation to get back out there and have our best game in a while."
Kuemper, who was starting in place of Antti Raanta (lower body injury) made 27 saves. He has allowed at least four goals in each of his last three starts.
The Coyotes had a four-minute power play late in the second period but were unable to convert.
"It looked like they were a little tense on that," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "You get one there maybe you get some juice. Didn't like that four minute. Didn't see a lot of leading going on out there. It was discouraging for us."
Pittsburgh's Casey DeSmith made 39 saves.
Washington is the third stop in a four-game Arizona road trip.
The Capitals had won two straight before Friday's 2-1 loss to the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets.
Sergei Bobrovsky outdueled Braden Holtby in a game in which all three goals came on power plays. Columbus converted 2 of 3 chances while Washington was 1-for-6.
The Capitals have allowed four power play goals in their last three games.
"Right now we just can't seem to kill a penalty," Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen said. "In a tight game, that hurts."
Niskanen, filling in for the injured John Carlson in Washington's top power-play unit, scored the Capitals goal, his third of the season. He also lost his stick while trying to defend against Anthony Duclair, who scored the go-ahead goal on Friday.
The Capitals have the NHL's second-ranked power play (32.7 percent), but they'll be facing a Coyotes penalty kill that leads the league with nine short-handed goals.
"They're able to really generate some offense and keep teams on their heels," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said, "And it's just important to understand that we have five guys on the ice, they have four, but we still need to outwork them and we still need to make sure we're in proper position to protect our teammates and not give up any free offense on that."
Arizona boasts the NHL's top penalty kill (91.5 percent).
Carlson missed Friday's game with a lower body injury. He practiced Saturday and could return against Arizona. Carlson is the NHL's fourth leading scorer among defensemen with five goals and 18 points.
Forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is on a six-game point streak, was excused from practice Saturday but is expected to play Sunday.
Arizona defenseman Alex Goligoski missed Saturday night's game due to a lower body injury.
Holtby is 4-1 with a 2.80 GAA and .908 save percentage against the Coyotes.