It did not start out pretty. The Caps look as if the dreadful slide would continue on.
Goals by Radim Vrbata and Lauri Korpikoski put the Coyotes up 2-0 early in the second period. The Capitals were already on a gut wrenching 4 game slide. Now they trailed 2-0.
John Carlson woke the Caps up with an unassisted bomb less than a minute after Korpikorski put the Coyotes up 2-0. It was Carlson's 3rd of the season and came in such a timely fashion. Carlson's bombed pulled the Caps to within one, but even more so, fueled the capitals with much needed energy. A little over three minutes later, Cody Eakin struck for his 2nd goal of the season and his career, a deflection off a Coyote, that tied the game at 2-2. The Eakin goal was assisted by Jeff Schultz. That is where it ended in the second period, despite the Caps out shooting Phoenix 25-12.
Washington picked up two tallies in the third period. Nicklas Backstrom put in a rebound past Coyote goalie Jason Labrabera for his 6th marker of the season and a Capitals 3-2 lead. Joel Ward and Alex Ovechkin added helpers. The Ovechkin assist snapped a four game scoreless streak for Great 8. The Capitals game winner came on the power lay from Brooks Laich, his 4th of the season, assisted by Backstrom.
Capitals were 1 for 4 on the power play and 2 for 2 on the penalty kill. Don't be impressed though. The Caps power play also gave up two short handed tallies, something the Caps obviously need to work on. Caps were still plagued with some pretty poor turnovers, only to be bailed out by Tomas Vokoun. But, the impressive aspect of the win is that the contributions are coming from the youngsters, Eakin and Carlson. The Capitals also had a season debut last night from 20 year old, 2009 second round defenseman Dmitry Orlov. Orlov played 11:56 and recorded one block shot and 3 hits, although he did commit a turnover in front of Vokoun. Overall, not a bad debut for the young Russian.
Meanwhile, another Russian did not have a good night. For the first time since his 2003 rookie season, Alexander Semin was a healthy scratch, watching from atop the Verizon Center, as his team mates ended a four game slide. Bourdreau explained the benching of Semin. , 1 goal, 1 assist, 4 shots, 5 for 8 on faceoffs