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Backstrom helps Caps edge Coyotes

Nov 22, 2011 - 3:27 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Nicklas Backstrom broke a tie early in the third period and set up Brooks Laich for the game-winner, as the Washington Capitals held on to beat the Phoenix Coyotes, 4-3, at Verizon Center.

John Carlson and rookie Cody Eakin scored second-period goals for Washington, which avoided a fifth straight loss. Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves in the win, the 200th for head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Lauri Korpikoski had two goals for the Coyotes, who finished a five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 record. Jason LaBarbera stopped 27 shots in defeat.

"I thought our guys hung in there and battled, but not much in the tank tonight," said Phoenix head coach Dave Tippett.

Backstrom was on the doorstep and lifted the rebound of a Joel Ward shot over LaBarbera 1:52 into the third. He then picked up the lone assist on a 5-on-3 power-play tally by Laich, who made it 4-2 by firing a point shot past a screened LaBarbera at 7:06.

Korpikoski drove the net and backhanded home his second marker of the game at 11:28, but the Coyotes couldn't solve Vokoun a fourth time.

Phoenix used a pair of short-handed breakaways to build a 2-0 lead.

With Korpikoski in the penalty box for tripping, Radim Vrbata knocked down Carlson's pass near the blue line and beat Vokoun 4:33 into the contest.

The Coyotes were then given a penalty shot when Dennis Wideman hooked Korpikoski on a breakaway. The Finn made good on his second opportunity, ripping a shot between the blocker and body of Vokoun at the 7:34 mark of the second period.

Washington used two deflections to pull even.

Less than a minute after the penalty shot, Carlson let go a slap shot from the right point that caromed off the stick of Phoenix forward Martin Hanzal and went through the pads of LaBarbera.

Eakin then fired a shot that tipped off the stick of Phoenix defenseman Keith Yandle and snuck past LaBarbera's right pad at 11:36.

"You get a couple breaks like that, it really helps turn the tide," said Washington forward Mike Knuble.

Game Notes

Capitals forward Jason Chimera played in his 600th career NHL game...Defenseman Dmitry Orlov made his NHL debut for Washington. Orlov was selected by the Capitals in the second round (55th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft...The Coyotes fell to 9-1-3 when scoring first this season.