The Washington Capitals may have returned home Monday, but so did their recent string of bad luck.
An early shorthanded goal by Radim Vrbata has given the Phoenix Coyotes a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Vrbata added to the Caps' misery at 4:33 with an unassisted shorthanded goal. Nicklas Backstrom won a faceoff in the offensive zone and the puck came to John Carlson, but Vrbata got his stick on his attempted pass and skated through center ice uncontested. Vrbata deked Tomas Vokoun and found enough space to slide the puck into the net with a wrist shot for his ninth goal of the season.
The Caps actually have a 13-5 lead in shots, but Jason LaBarbera has held his ground. Near the end of the period, Matt Hendricks and Kyle Chipchura fought as the former did what he could to incite his team. Hendricks bloodied Chipchura with a punch early on as the Verizon Center crowd roared in approval.