Recap: Capitals at Coyotes 12.4.23

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Nick Schmaltz scored twice during a five-goal first period for the Arizona Coyotes in their fifth straight win, 6-0 against the Washington Capitals at Mullett Arena on Monday.

Connor Ingram made 26 saves for his second shutout of the season, and Clayton Keller and Alex Kerfoot each had three assists for the Coyotes (13-9-2), who have defeated each of the past five Stanley Cup champions during their longest winning streak since a six-game run from Feb. 19 to March 2, 2019. Ingram has started all five games.

“Everything's fun when you're winning,” Schmaltz said. “We’re having a great time working for each other. We’re blocking shots when we're up 6-0. We wanted to do it for [Ingram] at the end. He deserved a shutout.”

Charlie Lindgren made 19 saves for the Capitals (12-8-2), who have lost two straight and four of six. Darcy Kuemper was pulled after allowing three goals on five shots.

“Just throw it in the garbage. It was a pretty ugly game for everyone,” Lindgren said. “Still, no excuses. We’ve got to show up and play better than that. But yeah, throw it away. We'll be better next game (against the Dallas Stars on Thursday).”

Arizona scored on five of its first eight shots.

WSH@ARI: Coyotes score five goals in 1st vs. Capitals

Logan Cooley made it 1-0 at 8:46 on a power play of the first, cutting to the net and converting a pass Keller threaded past four players.

“I think the scoreboard didn't really reflect it, but [the Capitals] came out and played really well early, but we were opportunistic,” Schmaltz said. “The first shot went in, and then we stayed with it and didn’t give up too many good looks.”

Michael Carcone’s fifth goal in four games, a wrist shot from beyond the face-off circles, made it 2-0 at 10:02 and extended his home goal-scoring streak to five.

“No matter who you’re playing in the League, you want to have a good start and have a push from the beginning,” Ingram said. “We fended them off pretty well [at the start] and then went back the other way, and that makes my job a lot easier.”

Schmaltz pushed it to 3-0 at 14:15 on another power play, prompting Washington coach Spencer Carbery to pull Kuemper. Arizona was 2-for-4 with the man-advantage.

“Believe it or not, I didn’t mind our start,” Carbery said. “I mean, they just score on everything, so I knew right away ‘Kuemps’ looked a little bit off so then you’re on guard there and hoping that it can stop the bleeding, but once that third goes in … then it got out of hand.”

Schmaltz scored again to make it 4-0 at 17:11 with a one-timer from the point with Cooley setting up a screen, and Jason Zucker gave Arizona a 5-0 lead at 18:39 following a Capitals turnover.

“Maybe if one goes in [early], it's a bit of a different game,” Capitals forward Tom Wilson said. “They made some big saves early and from there the game kind of got away from us. It’s frustrating, a result like this, you don't like seeing that number put on the board. … We’ve got to learn from it. Get home and start building momentum again.”

WSH@ARI: Ingram blanks Capitals with 26 saves

The Keller-Cooley-Schmaltz line combined for six points (three goals, three assists).

“They’re finding their way,” Arizona coach Andre Tourigny said. “They’re getting better in every game, in my opinion.”

Nick Bjugstad scored short-handed at 16:54 of the second period, finishing off a 2-on-0 rush with Kerfoot for the 6-0 final.

Ingram preserved the shutout with nine saves in the third period.

The Coyotes have won the first four of a five-game homestand and are 8-4-0 at home.

“You get on a streak like this, I mean this is what people want to see or hear,” Ingram said. “It’s fun to play here now, and people are into it.”

NOTES: Washington center Evgeny Kuznetsov was a healthy scratch for the first time since May 3, 2021. Carbery said he needed a mental break. … Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin was held without a goal for the seventh straight game. He needs one point to reach 1,500 in his NHL career. … Washington was 0-for-4 with the man-advantage and has five power-play goals all season (5-for-64, 7.8 percent). … Coyotes defenseman Sean Durzi sustained a lower-body injury during the first period and didn’t return. Tourigny didn’t have an update. … Kerfoot has nine points (one goal, eight assists) during a four-game point streak.