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Coyotes at Capitals In-Game Blog: 11-21-2011

Pregame Preview:

The Caps return to the Verizon Center tonight to begin a three-game homestand against the Phoenix Coyotes. Since starting out the season red hot with a 7-0 record, Washington has gone 3-7-1 since and are currently on a four game losing streak. In the last three games, the Caps have been anemic on offense and defense and were outscored 14-3, including a 7-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Coach Bruce Boudreau is continuing to alter the lineup, this time recalling defenseman Dmitry Orlov from Hershey to make his NHL debut. The addition of the 20-year old to the roster is in the hope of improving a team who has given up almost five times as many goals as they have scored in the past six days.

The Coyotes, however, are hot as of late, posting a record 6-2-1 in their last nine contests to put them at 10-5-3 on the season. They currently trail San Jose by two points for the Pacific division lead.

Boyd Gordon makes his return to D.C. after signing with the Coyotes as a free agent this past July. In 60 games during the 2010-2011 season, Gordon posted 9 points and averaged just over 13 minutes on the ice per game as a Capital. In 18 games this season, he already matched last season’s point total and averages over 16 minutes of ice time per game.

The Caps lead the all-time series against the Phoenix franchise with a record of 28-25-12-1.

1st Period Overview:

- The Caps get their first power play of the night thanks to a 2-minute tripping call on Lauri Korpikoski at the 17:12 mark.

- Radim Vrbata scores his ninth goal of the year on the Coyotes penalty kill 4:33 into the contest.

- The Caps have been putting a lot of pressure on Phoenix goalie Jason Labarbera but haven’t been able to take advantage of crowding the net.

- Tomas Vokoun has been making some nice saves since the first goal that went in.

- The puck is deflecting off of the sticks of Caps defenders in front of their own net. Has to be worrying Vokoun.

- Nicklas Backstrom gets 2 minutes for interference at the 14:49 mark.

- Coyotes have done a good job of getting defenders in front of the net to help out Labarbera.

- Matt Hendricks and Kyle Chipchura with a good fight. Hendricks delivers a bloody nose to Chipchura. Hendricks headed to the locker room with a minute to go. Both men get 5 minute penalties for fighting.

Faceoffs Won: PHX – 7 WAS – 7
Hits: PHX – 12 WAS – 11
Shots on Goal: PHX – 5 WAS – 13
Goals: PHX – 1 WAS – 0


2nd Period Overview:

- Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble almost take advantage of an interception in front of Phoenix’s net.

- Jason Chimera called for holding. 2 minute penalty at the 18:39 mark.

- Caps fans are happy… they won a free Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich because a fan knew that Troy Brouwer was born in Vancouver. Nice.

- Derek Morris receives a 2 minute penalty for hooking 6:26 into the period.

- Phoenix is awarded a penalty shot to Korpikoski. He gets it past Vokoun to put Phoenix up 2-0 at the 12:26 mark. Vokoun kicks the puck in disgust.

- John Carlson puts the Caps on the board with the PP goal at the 11:33 mark. 2-1 Coyotes.

- Caps fans finding any reason to boo the ref. This time because he took a red balloon away after floating above the ice for a while.

- Cody Eakin scores his second goal of the season 11:36 into the period. Jeff Schultz with the assist.

- Ovechkin is starting to throw his body around a bit like the Ovi of old. Might be a good sign.

- Fans are furious with the non-boarding call on Keith Yandle.

- Apparently the Red Balloon is becoming to the #Caps what the Rally Squirrel was to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series.

- Caps on the PP with 3:38 left. Tripping on Cal O’Reilly.

- Eakin almost gets his second with about 1:40 left.

- 2-2 after 2 Periods.

Faceoffs Won: PHX – 11 WAS – 9
Hits: PHX – 4 WAS – 15
Shots on Goal: PHX – 7 WAS – 11
Goals: PHX – 1 WAS – 2

3rd Period Overview:

- Just before the 3rd period, I noticed a kid wearing a Tony Romo jersey just a couple rows from the press box. Such is life in D.C.

- Nicklas Backstrom puts the Caps on top 3-2 1:52 into the 3rd period. It’s Backstrom’s 6th goal of the year. Joel Ward and Alex Ovechkin with the assists.

- Caps now on the power play with 14:35 remaining. Shane Doan called for slashing.

- With 14:08 left, the Caps get their second power play and have a two-man advantage for 1:32. David Schlemko gets the call for delay of game for the #Coyotes.

- Brooks Laich with the goal with 12:54 remaining. Caps up 4-2. It’s his fourth goal of the season.

- – Caps fans with the classic “We Want Wings!” chant.

- For those who are curious, former Cap Boyd Gordon has 17:15 of ice time tonight for the Coyotes.

- Jason Chimera gets the loud ovation from the Verizon Center crowd for playing in his 600th career game.

- Coyotes get their third goal on the night. This one courtesy of Korpikoski again. Caps lead cut down to 4-3.

- Boyd Gordon gets the assist. Sorry, I jinxed it by Tweeting about him.

- Caps show the Rally Balloon on the big screen just after the Unleash the Fury video. This will be a cult classic for a while, folks.

- Caps win 4-3 over the #Coyotes. It’s Bruce Boudreau’s 200th career win.

Faceoffs Won: PHX – 9 WAS – 11
Hits: PHX – 6 WAS – 3
Shots on Goal: PHX – 11 WAS – 6
Goals: PHX – 1 WAS – 2

Final Stats:

Faceoffs Won: PHX – 27 WAS – 27
Hits: PHX – 22 WAS – 29
Shots on Goal: PHX – 23 WAS – 31
Goals: PHX – 3 WAS – 4

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