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Final Look: Coyotes Capitalize in Shootout, Prevail for Two Points

Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland score in the shootout, Antti Raanta makes 31 saves in the 4-3 win

by Alex Kinkopf @AEKinkopf / Game Recap

COYOTES CAPITALIZE IN SHOOTOUT, PREVAIL FOR TWO POINTS

Things got dicey, but the Coyotes prevailed for two points Monday night at Capital One Arena, topping the NHL's-best Washington Capitals by a 4-3 score in a contest that extended to a shootout.

The Coyotes handed Washington just its second defeat in 12 games and snapped their three-game losing streak in the process.

After feeding off of a pair of gigantic saves from Antti Raanta to start, Clayton Keller opened the scoring when he shoveled home a loose puck in the crease to give the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 5:45 to play in the first period.

Arizona would build on its lead to start the second period, and fast, scoring two goals in the opening 45 seconds of the middle frame.

Driving toward the net on the opening shift of the second period after forcing a neutral zone turnover, Brad Richardson fed Christian Fischer as the two approached Washington's net, and after review, it was deemed the puck that ricochet off of Fischer crossed the goal-line.

Credited with his first goal of the season, Fischer's tally gave the Coyotes a 2-0 lead.

A mere 30 seconds later, Michael Grabner followed picked off a Capitals pass of his own in the nautral zone, transitioning the other way with speed to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead as he scored through the five-hole on a breakaway.

The Capitals responded with a goal later in the second period and two in the third to tie the game, 3-3, sending the Coyotes to overtime for the sixth time this season.

After an apparent overtime game-winning goal from Washington was reviewed and overturned for being offside, the teams extended to a shootout, where the Coyotes remained perfect this season.

Raanta turned away both of Washington's breakaway attempts while Nick Schmaltz and Conor Garland both converted.

Raanta made a total of 31 saves on the evening, his fifth 30-plus save performance of the season, becoming just the second goaltender to hold the Capitals to less than four goals in their last 12 games.

"Obviously you don't want to lose a 3-0 lead but we got the two points from OT and the shootout," Raanta said. "Sometimes you have to go through hard times to realize what your identity is, and I think we're learning how we should play against these kinds of teams."

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TRACKING IT

GAME #18: ARIZONA (4) at WASHINGTON (3) F/SO

  • SOG: ARI - 35, WSH - 34
  • PP: ARI - 0/2, WSH - 0/3

ARIZONA SCORING:

WASHINGTON SCORING:

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THEY SAID IT

"Guys did a great job, Raants stood tall and he made the saves when he needed to. It was a good hockey game that had a playoff feel to it. I think it was a huge win for us."

Jason Demers , on the 4-3 shootout victory

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DON'T OVERLOOK IT

THE SITUATION: Tie game, 0-0, with 18:58 to remaining in the first period.

Antti Raanta helped set an early tone for the Coyotes with a spectacular save on Washington's Jakub Vrana just over a minute into the game.

Moving right to left, Raanta denied the Capitals forward with a crucial right pad stop to keep the game scoreless and wash away Washington's early effort to build momentum.

Raanta received help from Jakob Chychrun on the play, the Coyotes defenseman swiping the puck out of harm's way as it trickled through the crease in approach to the goal-line.

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GOTTA SEE IT

THE SITUATION: Coyotes leading, 2-0, with 19:15 remaining in the second period.

Off to the races. Steal and score. Michael Grabner, long overdue for a breakaway goal, cashed in as he fled in alone early in the second period, beating Ilya Samsonov to the five-hole to give the Coyotes a 3-0 lead.

Grabner intercepted a Capitals pass in the neutral zone, where the Coyotes were dangerous throughout the night, transitioning the other way with speed to score his sixth goal of the season.

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PHOTO FINISH

Conor Garland, with a pump of his fist, celebrates after scoring in the bottom half of the second round of the shootout Monday night, clinching the Coyotes' 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena. (Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott / Getty Images)

Lead Photo Credit: Patrick McDermott - Getty Images // GIF Highlight Footage courtesy NBC Sports Washington

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