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Phoenix at Washington

Veteran Nolan leads surging Coyotes to third win in row

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- The Phoenix Coyotes are having fun again.

Owen Nolan had a goal and an assist in Phoenix's three-goal first period, and the Coyotes beat the struggling Washington Capitals 3-2 Monday for their third straight win.

The Coyotes improved to 16-20-2, the closest they've been to .500 since late October.

"We're playing hard, and it really was a nice effort," Phoenix coach Wayne Gretzy said. "... They're enjoying themselves."

Phoenix struggled throughout the first part of the season, losing eight of its first 10 games, but has looked sharp lately. The Coyotes have won four of their last five.

"The last couple of weeks we've been playing really solid hockey, getting great goaltending, and everyone believes in each other right now," Nolan said. "In the beginning of the season, we were really down in the dumps and whatnot and everyone wrote us off. But we've proven to ourselves that we can compete with really good teams and we're taking that into every game now."

The Coyotes have really improved on the power play. Phoenix has six extra-man goals in the last three games -- it needed 11 games to score six before that. The Coyotes came into the game against Washington ranked 29th in the NHL on the power play but scored twice in five chances.

"Our power play and penalty kill hasn't been that great for us, and the last few games, it's starting to come on," said Shane Doan, who scored a power-play goal. "When you win the specialty teams battle, it makes the game a lot easier."

Mikael Tellqvist made 30 saves for Phoenix, which held the Capitals to one goal in seven power plays. Washington has lost five straight and seven of eight.

Both of Phoenix's power-play goals came in the first period and helped the Coyotes take a 3-1 lead after one.

Nolan gave Phoenix an early 1-0 lead with a power-play goal 2:02 into the game, but Brian Pothier's power-play goal tied it for Washington with 6:17 left in the period. It was the defenseman's first goal as a Capital and ended a streak of 51 games without a goal.

Keith Ballard broke the tie when he took a Nolan pass and fired a wrist shot past Washington goalie Olie Kolzig for a 2-1 lead with 3:04 left. Doan added the Coyotes' second extra-man goal of the period with 14.1 seconds remaining.

Brian Sutherby cut the lead to 3-2 midway through the second period on a shot from the left circle for the Caps.

"We had the opportunities, and we just didn't score," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "You can't just spot teams two power-play goals."

Notes

  • Donald Brashear of Washington served his one-game suspension for his role in Saturday's fight-filled loss to the New York Rangers.
  • Sutherby's goal ended a streak of 29 games without one.
  • Nolan's assist was the 400th of his NHL career.
  • Yanic Perreault of Phoenix added two assists.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Mikael Tellqvist denies Danius Zubrus a point-blank scoring opportunity and finishes with 30 saves. (AP)
Mikael Tellqvist denies Danius Zubrus a point-blank scoring opportunity and finishes with 30 saves. (AP)

Scoreboard
Phoenix  (16-20-2) «3003
Washington (16-17-7)1102
Three Stars
O. Nolan
PHO


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
Y. Perreault
PHO


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2
B. Pothier
WAS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:02Power Play - Owen Nolan (9), Tip-In - Assists: Yanic Perreault, Ladislav Nagy
13:43Power Play - Brian Pothier, Backhand Shot - Assists: Alex Ovechkin, Matt Pettinger
16:56Keith Ballard, Snap Shot - Assists: Owen Nolan, Yanic Perreault
19:45Power Play - Shane Doan (9), Wrist Shot - Assists: Travis Roche, Zbynek Michalek
2ND PERIOD
11:22Brian Sutherby (2), Wrist Shot - Assist: Jakub Klepis
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
01:33Morrisonn: High sticking - 2 min.
03:00Semin: Hooking - 2 min.
06:20Gratton: Too Many Men on the Ice(bench) - 2 min.
12:25Scatchard: Tripping - 2 min.
18:34Zubrus: Tripping - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
01:19Zigomanis: Hooking - 2 min.
04:15Saprykin: Holding the stick - 2 min.
18:01Zubrus: Holding the stick - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
01:42Michalek: Holding - 2 min.
04:11Roche: Tripping - 2 min.
05:12Jones: Hooking - 2 min.
08:58Steckel: Holding - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Phoenix1510227
Washington1211932
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Mikael Tellqvist59:58302
Olaf Kolzig58:41243
Game Information
Attendance - 12579
Referees - Gord Dwyer, Kevin Pollock
Linesmen - Greg Devorski, Derek Nansen
 
Other Games
Atl 3 Final
OT
Ott 2
Colo 5 Final
Nash 3
NYI 1 Final
Buf 3
Bos 1 Final
Tor 5