Capitals Beat Coyotes on Burakovsky’s Winner

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Andre Burakovsky scored late in the third period, Pheonix Copley stopped 27 shots and the Washington Capitals beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-2 on Thursday night.

Jakub Vrana scored his third goal in two games and Matt Niskanen had one on his birthday for the Capitals, who ended Arizona’s four-game winning streak. Burakovsky, moved up to the top line due to Tom Wilson’s injury, scored the game-winner on a shot that caromed in off Adin Hill’s blocker with 4:42 left.

Washington Capitals celebrate
Washington Capitals celebrate (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Washington’s Alex Ovechkin added an empty-net goal and became the fastest player in NHL history — ninth overall — with 5,000 career shots, reaching the mark in 1,031 career games. Marcel Dionne was the previous fastest at 1,215 games.

Christian Fischer and Lawson Crouse scored for Arizona, which lost for the first time since acquiring Nick Schmaltz in a trade with Chicago.

Hill stopped 26 shots and allowed one more goal than he had while opening his Coyotes career with four straight wins.

The Coyotes jumped on Washington early when Fischer, who earlier limped off after blocking a shot, one-timed a pass from Derek Stepan from the right circle.

Arizona squandered an opportunity early in the second period when Richard Panik missed the net on a penalty shot.

The Capitals ratcheted up the pressure from there, tying it on Vrana’s wrist shot from between the circles that beat Hill to the glove side.

The momentum didn’t last.

Crouse tied it 90 seconds later, gathering a loose puck between the circles, sliding to his left and beating Copley to the stick side.

Niskanen tied it late in the period on a shot that caromed off Arizona defenceman Jacob Chychrun past Hill.

The Capitals got their turn for a penalty shot next and they also failed when Vrana couldn’t find an opening against Hill.

NOTES: Wilson did not play due to a concussion sustained Tuesday against Vegas. … Arizona lost for the third time in 15 games (11-3-1) when scoring first. … Niskanen turned 32.


The Capitals play at Columbus on Saturday.

The Coyotes host the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.


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John Marshall, The Associated Press