Game Day: Phoenix Coyotes @ Washington Capitals
There wasn't much love lost between the Phoenix Coyotes and Washington Capitals when they last met on Valentine's Day, as Phoenix took the win by a count of 3-2. Washington is currently in the middle of a 3-6-1 stretch of ten that most recently saw them come up flat in Toronto, scoring only one goal against the Leafs' seven. Phoenix's road trip thus far has been much of the opposite, as the Flyers were their only loss since they last left Jobing.com Arena.
Washington maintains a winning record at home (6-1-1), but five of the eight last games featuring them and the Coyotes have been decided by only one goal. And as good as Mike Smith has been thus far this season, he hasn't won a single game (0-6-0) against the Capitals in his career.
This is the first of a three-game homestand for the Capitals, who host the Jets on Wednesday and the Rangers on Friday. For their part, the Coyotes will return home to face the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday, the Canucks on Friday and the Stars on Saturday.
Quick Hits: Coyotes
♦ The Coyotes have recalled defenseman Maxim Goncharov in time for tonight's game. The 123rd pick of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft has three points in 16 games for the Portland Pirates of the AHL.
♦ Former Capitals' draft pick Boyd Gordon has recorded 3-6-9 through 18 games for Phoenix. Last season he posted the same stats through 60 games with Washington.
♦ Radim Vrbata had his third two-goal game of 2011-12 against Buffalo, tying him with Ray Whitney for the team lead in points (15). These two combined for four points in the two teams' last game against one another.
♦ Shane Doan also scored against Buffalo, marking the 750th point of his career.
♦ Oliver Ekman-Larsson was the only one to beat Keith Yandle in ice time on Saturday (22:18). He has four goals and three assists, good for second among Phoenix blueliners.
Quick Hits: Capitals
♦ Nicklas Backstrom leads Washington with 20 points (5-15) in 18 games. Nine of those points have come at home, and he has won at least 60% of draws in each of his last five contests.
♦ Alexander Ovechkin is second with 14 points (7-7) but was -3 against Toronto, where he also recorded 8 shots on goal, the most of any of the Caps. He has three goals and three assists in five games against the Coyotes.
♦ Both Washington netminders have split records against Phoenix: Michal Neuvirth is 1-1-0 while Tomas Vokoun is 11-8-2.
♦ Dennis Wideman, who has recorded a combined goal and four assists against the Coyotes, leads Capitals' defensemen with 12 points this year, which is good to tie him for 7th in the NHL.
♦ Caps' head coach Bruce Boudreau is just one win away from 200 in his NHL career.