Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Karl Alzner broke open the dam and Brooks
Laich and Troy Brouwer followed him through.
The Washington Capitals, after going nearly the length of two games without a
goal, got three in a five-minute flurry in the third period Saturday to beat
the Phoenix Coyotes 3-2.
Brouwer scored the winner on a power play with 5:13 remaining. Earlier, Alzner
scored 9:45 into the third period to end a goalless drought of 115 minutes and
45 seconds, and Laich tied the game at 2-2 just 32 seconds later.
The rally gave goaltender Jaroslav Halak a win in his Capitals debut.
Halak, who was dealt from St. Louis to Buffalo in the Ryan Miller deal and
then moved to Washington at the trade deadline, made 31 saves, including 10 in
the third period to help Washington snap a three-game losing streak.
"The league is very difficult. We waited, we didn't panic, we didn't give an
outnumbered situation to try and cheat to try and get a goal," said Capitals
coach Adam Oates. "We got the first (goal), (Laich's) line broke them down to
get the second goal, and then the (power play) wins it."
Brandon McMillan and Radim Vrbata scored for the Coyotes, who had won two in a
row since a four-game losing streak. They have now dropped five in a row on
the road (0-3-2).
Mike Smith made 30 saves, but allowed three goals on 14 shots in the third
"It seemed like we stopped playing the way we played in the first and the
second," said Vrbata. "When you have a 2-0 lead going into the third you have
to find a way to win, and we didn't."
The Capitals were shut out 3-0 in Boston on Thursday and hadn't found the net
since Laich's goal with six minutes left in Wednesday's 6-4 loss to the
Alzner ended the scoreless streak with an odd goal. He flipped the puck on net
from inside the blue line near the left boards and got some help from Phoenix
defenseman Keith Yandle, who screened his own goaltender.
"It was the perfect momentum swing and the perfect line to come out right
after that," said Alzner. "It was a perfect storm for us."
Laich was in front of the crease to jam in Jason Chimera's pass from behind
the end line on the low left side, tying the game at 2-2 just 32 second later.
After Coyotes forward David Moss went off for tripping later, Brouwer was all
alone for a rebound into a wide-open net after Smith had turned aside Nicklas
Backstrom's long shot. Backstrom picked up his 51st assist of the season.
Earlier, McMillan gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead with 62 seconds left in the
first period when he got behind the Washington defense as the Capitals made a
line change and beat Halak through the legs.
McMillan thought he had a goal earlier in the first period after he jammed
away at the puck behind Halak's skates, getting it over the line. But the
whistle blew and the no-goal was upheld upon review.
Vrbata made it 2-0 with a power-play goal 3:20 into the second period, tipping
the puck over the line after it got behind Halak.
The Capitals said Saturday they have signed Russian forward Evgeny Kuznetsov
to an entry-level contract, plucking their 2010 first-round draft pick from
the Kontinental Hockey League. They also recalled forward Casey Wellman from
Hershey of the AHL ... The Capitals remain home to play Pittsburgh on Monday
... The Coyotes started a four-game road trip that continues Monday at Tampa
The Sports Network