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Capitals blank Coyotes 2-0, complete successful road trip

Conor Sheary scored in the first period and Vitek Vanecek got his fourth shutout of the season as the Washington Capitals beat the Arizona Coyotes 2-0 Friday night for their seventh win in nine games.

John Carlson scored his 16th into an empty net with 25 seconds remaining. Sheary and Nic Dowd had the assists on that goal. Vanecek stopped 19 shots for his seventh career shutout and 20th victory of the season.

The Capitals pulled even with Pittsburgh for third place in the Metropolitan Division with 99 points.

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) skates with the puck in front of Arizona Coyotes center Nick Schmaltz, right, during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 22, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

Karel Vejmelka had 27 saves for the Coyotes, who have lost nine straight (0-8-1). Arizona was coming off an OT loss to Chicago on Wednesday, its only point since an overtime win on the road against the Blackhawks on April 3.

Sheary’s goal, his 18th, came with 8:27 left in the first period. Sheary put in a rebound to Vejmelka’s right side. Nicklas Backstrom and Justin Schultz had the assists for Washington.

The Capitals outshot the Coyotes 29-19. There were four penalties in the contest, all against Arizona.

Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka (70) makes a save on a shot as Washington Capitals center Lars Eller (20) and Coyotes defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere look for a rebound during the second period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 22, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

Jack McBain had the best chance for Arizona in the first period, but his point-blank shot against Vanecek hit the post to the goalie’s right. McBain, in his sixth career game, is looking for his first career goal.

A crowd of 14,023 — including a large contingent of Capitals fans — were in attendance at Gila River Arena. The Coyotes have two games left in Glendale before moving to a much smaller arena on Arizona State’s campus next season.

Alex Ovechkin had just two shots in the first two periods. The 36-year-old Capitals left wing scored his 50th goal on Wednesday, the 780th of his career. He trails only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801). Ovechkin matched Gretzky and Mike Bossy with his ninth season with 50 or more goals.

Arizona Coyotes center Jack McBain (22) has his shot go off the post next to Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek (41) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 22, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

NO GOAL

With 7:05 remaining in the second period, an apparent goal by Washington’s Garnet Hathaway — from behind the Coyotes’ net — was waved off due to the officials ruling that Hathaway controlled the puck with a high stick. The call was confirmed by replay.

MILESTONES

Arizona Coyotes center Barrett Hayton (29) jumps over the puck as Washington Capitals goaltender Vitek Vanecek, right, makes a save and is helped out by Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen, left, during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 22, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

Andrew Ladd was honored in a pregame ceremony for playing in his 1,000th game on Wednesday against Chicago. His family was present for the ceremony featuring longtime Coyotes captain Shane Doan and a video tribute with former and current teammates. Ladd got the start at left wing Friday night ... Bokondji Imama, meanwhile, made his NHL debut for the Coyotes. The 25-year-old defenseman from Montreal saw ice time in the first two periods.

SIDELINED

Coyotes C Jay Beagle was out for Friday after leaving Arizona’s previous game with a lower-body injury. ... Nick Ritchie and Dyson Mayo missed their second straight games with upper-body injuries.

Washington Capitals left wing Conor Sheary (73) celebrates his goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, right, with Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 22, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)

UP NEXT

Capitals: Host Toronto on Sunday.

Coyotes: Host St. Louis on Saturday.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Washington Capitals left wing Conor Sheary (73) scores a goal against Arizona Coyotes goaltender Karel Vejmelka, right, as Coyotes defenseman Kyle Capobianco (75) is unable to help out during the first period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 22, 2022, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP PhotoRoss D. Franklin)