WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin scored his 787th career goal to break Gordie Howe’s record for scoring with one team, but the Arizona Coyotes scored three times in the third period to rally for a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
Nick Ritchie had two goals, including the tiebreaker with 36 seconds remaining, and Josh Brown also scored for Arizona, which trailed 2-0 early in the third. Shayne Gostisbehere had two assists and Karel Vejmelka stopped 34 shots.
Anthony Mantha had a goal and an assist for Washington, which has lost four straight (0-2-2) while giving up a lead in each. Darcy Kuemper made 23 saves.
“No excuses, obviously,” Ovechkin said. “It starts from us leaders, and we can’t blame (injuries) on it. Every player who plays in the NHL has some level to play, and obviously, we miss those guys. But right now, the situation is we have to pull on the rope with all our hands and don’t panic and don’t think it’s over. We just have to bounce back and play together as a team and as a group.”
With the Capitals on their third power play of the game, Ovechkin fired a one-timer off a pass from Trevor van Riemsdyk past Vejmelka with just under 9 minutes left in the second period to open the scoring. It moved Ovechkin past Howe for the most goals with one franchise in NHL history.
“Obviously, it’s a huge moment,” Ovechkin said. “The last couple games, it was big milestones and unfortunately, we didn’t get the win, but it’s a special moment and it’s nice to have both my kids, my wife, all the fans (here). My parents watched in Moscow. So it’s a special moment.”
Ovechkin is now 14 goals away from tying Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list and 107 from Wayne Gretzky's all-time record. The 289th power-play goal of his career extended his point streak to five games.
Mantha made it 2-0 at 3:23 of the third with an unassisted goal before the Coyotes began their comeback.
Brown got Arizona on the board as he scored on easily after Kuemper collided with Christian Fischer and Connor McMichael battling in front. The goal was challenged for goaltender interference, but it stood after a review.
Ritchie tied it at 9:45 with a shot that went off the crossbar and completely across the goal line. The goal light had gone on, but play continued and there no goal was called on the ice. During an ensuing stoppage in play, the officials reviewed it and credited the tally.
Ritchie then got the winner in the final minute as he crashed the net and buried a rebound for his second of the game and sixth of the season.
“We're down 2-0 and we just stayed with it,” Coyotes head coach Andre Tourigny said. “We kept going and scored big goals and (found) a way to win.”
Washington also suffered another big loss as defensemen Dmitry Orlov suffered a lower-body injury in the second period and did not return. The Capitals are now down eight skaters, with Orlov joining Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Connor Brown, Carl Hagelin, Beck Malenstyn and John Carlson on the shelf.
Coyotes: At Buffalo on Tuesday night to continue a 14-game trip.
Capitals: Host Connor McDavid and Edmonton on Monday night.
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