Good defense and goaltending propels Yotes to fifth straight

Life was not easy last night for Alex Ovechkin. He was held scoreless. (Photo Courtesy of Yahoo Sports)

It was the same old story for the Coyotes in their 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals last night. The Coyotes defensemen played a team with great offensive skill extremely tough and Ilya Bryzgalov was huge between the pipes once again. Bryzgalov stopped 29 of 31 shots that he faced for his fifth straight win in goal.

If you take a look solely at the box score, you will probably scratch your head and wonder how Phoenix found a way to win this game. They got outshot by Caps 29-18, Washington won more faceoffs and the Coyotes had more minutes in the box, which included a penalty just 19 seconds into the game. The Coyotes were able to kill off five man advantage chances for Washington though.

After a scoreless first between the two teams, Washington got on the scoreboard first on a goal from Marcus Johansson for his eighth goal of the season. Phoenix would fire back less than a minute later on a goal from Martin Hanzal for his 12th netter of the season. The Desert Dogs would close out the period with the momentum as Ray Whitney would score a beautiful goal on the power play. It was the first goal for the veteran since his two-goal effort back on Jan. 15.

Washington and Phoenix would split goals during the final 20 minutes. A couple of games back returning from injury, Vernon Fiddler would give his team a two-goal advantage four minutes into the period. The Capitals would cut the deficit down to one on a netter from Matt Bradley about a minute later, but Washington was unable to tie things up in the remaining minutes to send it into overtime thanks to Bryzgalov coming up with some big stops.

With their fifth straight win, the Coyotes have now moved up to first place in the Pacific Division and third overall in the Western Conference. Their next game will be tomorrow night against a scrappy Atlanta Thrashers squad. The puck will drop at 7 p.m. from Glendale.

You can follow Kevin on Twitter at @KevinBonneville or on Facebook at Howlin’ Hockey.

Topics: Alex Ovechkin, Atlanta Thrashers, Ilya Bryzgalov, Marcus Johansson, Martin Hanzal, Matt Bradley, Ray Whitney, Vernon Fiddler, Washington Capitals

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